(City of Pocatello Press Release, June 12, 2020)

Jenna Dohman, Science and Environmental Technician for the City of Pocatello, works on the streambank restoration project at Buck Creek. Photo credit: Michelle Madrid.

A Pocatello creek received a little TLC this spring.

Recently, the staff from the City of Pocatello Science and Environment Division and volunteers helped stabilize roughly 800 feet of streambank on Buck Creek (also known as Cedar Lake Creek), along Golf Drive.  Crews planted roughly 900 sedges and rushes along the creekbank that will help prevent loose silt, gravel, and sediment from entering the water and eventually making its way to the Portneuf River.  Before starting their planting efforts, crews from the Parks and Recreation Department dredged the creek to help mitigate flooding that has happened previously in the area.

“Planting vegetation along the stream banks is an inexpensive and effective tool for streambank stabilization and provides other ecological benefits,” said Jenna Dohman, Science and Environmental Technician.  “The roots of these plants help prevent erosion, trap sediment and pollutants, and help keep the water clean.  As these plants grow, they provide shade to the stream and keep temperatures cooler in the summer for aquatic species.”

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The total cost of the project was $4,361.89 in materials, landfill fees, and staff time.

In late 2019, restoration efforts were also completed on Pocatello Creek near Fire Station #3, along Pocatello Creek Road.  During that project, invasive Russian Olive and Elm trees were removed and native shrubs were planted in their place.  Additionally, crews used rock and other erosion control materials to cut down on the sediment entering the creek.

In total, 175 feet of streambank was stabilized and roughly 800 willow cuttings planted with the help of volunteers.  The work was completed in five days, including site cleanup and reseeding.  The project cost $39,760 and was primarily funded by a grant from the Idaho Department of Water Resources.  The City of Pocatello was responsible for $4,760 of the project’s cost.

The Pocatello Creek effort led to the City receiving a Public Works Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association Rocky Mountain Chapter.

For more information on the City of Pocatello’s Storm Water Management programs, visit pocatello.us/421/Storm-Water-Management.

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