ANTELOPE – It was an incredible sight as 50 to 60 kids, teens, and adults planted trees along the creek just south of Olso Court in Antelope on Friday.
It all started as a simple idea from a young girl.
Last year, Antelope High School Sophomore Stephani Smith entered the regional Caring for Our Watersheds environmental proposal contest where students submitted proposals to help local watersheds. Her proposal beat out over 200 others, and her school was award $1,000 to implement the project, however it would cost about $5,000 to do. Fortunately, one of the judges of the contest was Mike Dunphy who works for Partners for Fish and Wildlife, and he stepped in to help raise the rest.
After a year of planning, Smith who is now a Junior, was out at the creek making her proposal come to life. “It is really exciting,” she said about all the activity, “I don’t know how fast (the trees are) going to grow but I hope they grow fast, because I want to see them all grown.”
It wasn’t just students who were planting, neighbors who live around the creek also pitched in. Kris Erndt explained why he and his wife wanted to help, “This is something I can look across the street and take pride in.”
Along with being beautiful, Dunphy explained the environmental benefits of the project, “Help out migratory birds, and the trees will provide shade for the stream, which will make the stream cooler and is good for fish and amphibians.”
While Smith has always supported the environment she said this project gives her an extra push. “Now I can see we can actually do something (rather) than just hope for the best.”
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Center for Land-Based Learning, Dry Creek Conservancy, Sacramento Area Creeks Council, Sacramento Tree Foundation, and Sacramento County Water Resources all helped with the project.