Truckee River Day volunteers work on the watershed |

Truckee River Day volunteers work on the watershed

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunCyndie Walck, a fluvial geomorphologist talks to volunteers during Truckee River Day.

More than 500 people participated in this year’s Truckee River Day consisting of 12 different projects in different locations around Truckee including Merrill Valley, Davies Creek, Coldstream Canyon, Negro Canyon, Martis Valley, along the Legacy Trail and at Sierra College. The projects are all intended to improve habitat and water quality.

One of the most complex projects was restoring the sterile soil of the old quarry pit in Coldstream Canyon. Volunteers built different test plots of rich compost soil, wood chips and a combination of the two to see what processing of the soil will support vegetation expalined Cyndie Walck, a Fluvial Geomorphologist for California State Parks who was directing the volunteers.

A Jute netting made of coconut fibers was then laid on top of the test plots to hold the mulch and seeds in place.

Walck has been doing research in the area for four years and spent a year getting the permits to convert the area into a true wetland. The project is funded by grants and donations Walck said.

Walck believes the project is possible because of the partnership between the Truckee Donner Land Trust, State Parks and the Truckee River Watershed Council and the volunteers who helped out on Truckee River Day.

“It really ties us to the community,” Walck said.

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It will be a few more years of monitoring before improvements are seen Walck said, but it will be worth the wait.”It has so much potential to be somewhere people want to visit.”