Students volunteer to help restore Table Rock

Kids planted sage brush in areas damaged by fire.

Four months after a wildfire burned Table Rock, the blackened hillside is still very visible across Boise. Thursday, with the help of some students, that blackened earth started to look a little bit greener.

Middle and high school students from Riverstone International School planted around 600 sagebrush seedlings all across Table Rock. It's all in an effort to help restore the face of the iconic mesa.

"It feels really good to make an impact on something that is really important to Boise," said sixth grader Nicole Perl.

More than 40 students were up in the foothills looking to turn the black back to green.

"It just gives you an idea in how important the foothills are and what you can do to help them," Nicole said.

Kathleen Gilton, the community engagement director at Riverstone, says it's all a part of the school's "Morning of Service." Rather than staying at home because of parent-teacher conferences, students get out into the community.

"It's a way for them to see a different part of the community, make a big difference, learn," Gilton said.

It's a program the school started four years ago and takes place twice per year.

"They'll put in today about an equivalent of 450 hours of volunteer work for the community of Boise," Gilton said.

All in all there were 170 students volunteering all across Boise. There were groups of students at Table Rock, Zoo Boise, Molenaar Park, Esther Simplot Park, and the Discovery Center of Idaho.

"I think it makes me feel like a better person that I've helped these people do this," said seventh grader Derek Liebich.

It's a difference many of these students will still be able to see long after they graduate because sagebrush can live up to 150 years.

"I could come back in 20 years and see the sagebrush that I planted and know that I helped restore this area," said junior Christina Uhlenbrock.

The sagebrush used Thursday came from the Shoshone and Paiute tribes. Last year, the Bureau of Land Management worked with the tribes to set up three greenhouses. This sagebrush is the first batch to come from those greenhouses.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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