A group of local scouts turned into environmental stewards for a few hours over weekend.
Cub Scouts from Pack 10 and Pack 6, led by Shannon Seifert, lent their time and potted trees to improve the health of Jordan Creek. The Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition led the outing along the urbanized creek next to the Super 8 Hotel by Wyndham on Saturday morning, planting over 100 different Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock and different kinds of willow.
The creek, which flows underneath Egan Highway and winds its way through the airport region of the Mendenhall Valley, is of particular concern to SWAC. Unlike the upper two-thirds of the creek, which runs undisturbed on and near Thunder Mountain, the final stretch navigates a highly-urbanized area.
“That encroachment has removed a lot of the native vegetation, or any vegetation, that normally would occur there,” John Hudson, restoration biologist at SWAC, said. “And of course those trees as we mention in that press release are holding the soil together, so protecting the stream banks from erosion during floods. They’re also providing shade for the stream.”
The stream bank next to the hotel was chosen because it’s still unspoiled, Hudson said. In addition to planting trees near Jordan Creek, the watershed nonprofit is also managing storm-water runoff and pollutants that enters the creek during heavy rains and getting rid of invasive species.
“This was just one event of many we hope to have as we partner with land owners along the stream to improve its overall health,” Hudson said.