NID hosts students to experience a watershed first-hand

June 5, 2018

The Deer Creek watershed recently served as a lovely backdrop for local school kids to learn about nature and gain hands-on experience caring for the environment.

Coordinating with South Yuba River Citizens’ League’s Restoration Coordinator Karli Foreman, Nevada Irrigation District (NID) hosted a group of students from Yuba River Charter School, who arrived at Scotts Flat Reservoir in late May to spend two days camping and enjoying an end-of-the-school-year adventure. The students, eager to explore a part of the watershed, were greeted by Neysa King, NID’s watershed resources planner, and Foreman to discuss watershed health.

King discussed how watersheds function and the interconnection between headwater creeks and rivers. She explained how the Deer Creek watershed flows into the South Fork of the Yuba River, which flows into the Sacramento River, continues to the Delta and finally the Pacific Ocean.

“This is such a marvelous opportunity for students to not only experience first-hand the beauty of the natural area but also the vital function of watersheds, and where their local water supply comes from,” King said.

Students listened to information about the headwater watersheds, and then delved into a special topic: the importance of managing invasive species. After a field discussion, Foreman guided the students as they donned gloves and protective clothing, picked up “weed wrenches” and hand tools, and set out to remove Scotch Broom from the site. Broom, broughscotch_broomt to North America by Europeans in the 1800s, can spread as an invasive non-native species. It forms dense stands that can crowd out native species and degrade important habitats.

“Broom also is targeted for fire fuels reduction as it burns rapidly and can quickly become a ladder fuel that allows a ground fire to leap into the canopy,” King said.

The students enjoyed the two nights at Scotts Flat Reservoir as part of NID’s standing invitation to local school groups to come and spend time at District facilities to learn about our local water supply and the importance of being good stewards of the watershed.

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