Working on the watershed | SierraSun.com

Working on the watershed

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

About 600 volunteers will be scattered throughout the region taking on problems in the Truckee River watershed Sunday.

The 13th annual Truckee River Day will tackle projects ranging from planting native species to building boardwalk over sensitive meadows.

“This year we have a really good combination of small-scale and large-scale projects,” said Lisa Wallace, executive director of the Truckee River Watershed Council.

One such project ” planting and seeding native vegetation at the new Sierra College campus ” will act as a demonstration on how to use gardening to reduce erosion in the area, Wallace said.

Many of the other Truckee River Day projects revolve around planting as well, said Beth Christman, program manager for the Truckee River Watershed Council, including re-creating wetlands in Donner Memorial State Park ponds and rehabilitating old diverted streams.

“This summer we are putting creek’s back on their natural courses that were diverted in the early 1900s,” Wallace said.

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In the Merrill Valley and at Davies Creek, railroad lines used to haul logs redirected the streams into straighter, more erosive channels that dried out meadows, Christman said.

Other volunteers will finish up the work started on Truckee Trails Day, completing the boardwalk section of the Tompkins Memorial Trail, Christman said.

“We have groups doing Truckee River Day as a bonding experience,” Christman said. “We have groups like Rotary, Queen of Hearts, Boy and Girl Scouts, and the high school is sending out 100 kids.”

Glenshire Elementary School fifth graders will also re-install their school of fish along Trout Creek this year, she said.

“People who want to participate absolutely should,” Christman said.

Wallace said those interested should head out to the Granite Flat Campground south of Truckee on Highway 89 south, meeting at 9 a.m. for full-day projects and 11 a.m. for half-day work.

“The forecast is looking beautiful, but if it changes, Truckee River Day is still on,” Wallace said.

At the end of the day, Wallace said Lahontan Cutthroat Trout fingerlings will be released at the Granite Flat Campground at 4 p.m.

“Kid’s just love that,” Wallace said. “But it only takes 20 minutes, so don’t get there late.”