UM Invites Community to Participate in Rock Creek Restoration April 7

April 04, 2018

MISSOULA – University of Montana students in the Ecosystem Science & Restoration Program and the Five Valleys Land Trust nonprofit will host a volunteer event for community members of all ages at the confluence of Rock Creek and the Clark Fork River from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 7.

Volunteers will plant native shrubs, such as willows and cottonwoods, as well as pull invasive weeds such as spotted knapweed and common mullein.

Five Valleys Land Trust purchased the Rock Creek Confluence Property in 2012 and immediately began restoring the area. For the past six years, UM students have partnered with the nonprofit to restore the property for recreation and wildlife values.

Jenny Tollefson, stewardship manager at Five Valleys Land Trust said the collaboration has been the key to success at the property.

“Thanks to our six-year partnership with the University of Montana and the dedication of so many community volunteers, we have made great progress in habitat restoration at the Rock Creek Confluence Property,” Tollefson said.

Rock Creek is a popular waterway for local and destination anglers. The blue-ribbon stream is critical habitat for Montana’s native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout, as well as nonnative brook, rainbow and brown trout. Deer, elk, birds and other wildlife also use the stream corridor.

Family participation is encouraged. Kid-friendly activities will include a treasure hunt, coloring pages and face painting. Lunch will be provided for volunteers.

Volunteers should RSVP to Tollefson by calling 406-549-0755 or emailing jenny@fvlt.org.

To get to the site, drive east on Interstate Highway 90 from Missoula for 22 miles to Exit 126. Turn right onto Rock Creek Road and follow signs to the site.

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Contact: Cara Nelson, UM associate professor of restoration ecology, 406-243-6066, cara.nelson@umontana.edu.