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MHS Students Help Bring the Beech Back to Beech Glen

Mountain Valleys teamed up with Madison High School staff and students , the Greater Ivy Community Citizens Association, and SM Soil and Water Solutions for an educational workday at Beech Glen Community Center. About 40 MHS students attended along with their science teachers as part of their ongoing project to come up with a design for further recreation opportunities and public access at the facility. Conservation practices are being weaved throughout the process to showcase the newly restored riverfront and as a means to reduce environmental impact at the site.

The following goals for the day were enthusiastically met by all involved:

- educate the students on natural stream restoration practices, the importance of riparian buffers, creating native plant habitats, and possible careers in conservation

-get our hands dirty

After a livestake demonstration, the students split into 4 work groups. The contractor crew helped SM Soil and Water Solutions plant 50 trees and shrubs, including several mature Beeches. The trail crew helped work on a walking trail that meanders through the floodplain among native rivercane, beautyberry, red osier dogwood and more. The cleanup crew removed trash from in the river and around the property. And the mulch crew spread mulch around the playground.

The Community Association stewards this property that sits on the beautiful Little Ivy. It is county owned and open to the public. An extensive natural stream restoration took place in spring of 2021. Several eroding streambanks were remediated to help reduce erosion and mitigate downstream flooding.

Please come visit and help us get some wear on the nature trail through the riparian buffer. We will be doing invasive plant management here, and we look forward to watching it grow into prime bird and pollinator habitat. There are also some great fishing holes.

As part of our Shade Your Stream program, funding for the riparian enhancement was paid for by a grant from US Fish and Wildlife, Partners for Fish and Wildlife. The federally listed gray bat has been found roosting on some bridges in Madison County. These animals depend on native riparian habitat for foraging. Please consider bringing native plants back to your riverbanks and check out our Shade Your Stream program.

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