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Volunteers make State Line restoration and river access a reality

Sixty four volunteers turned out last Friday and Saturday to make the State Line restoration a success. Over two hundred volunteer hours contributed to achieving the ambitious restoration objectives set by the Spokane Conservation District (SCD) and Spokane River Forum. View the slide show to see these great people at work restoring public lands for public use.

Said Lindsay Chutas, who is coordinating the State Line Restoration and Access Project for the SCD, “These people rock.”

Indeed they do. Where else do you get people from ECOVA, Avista, Spokane Community College, Gonzaga, Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane Veterans for the Environment, Northwest White Water Association, Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club, Spokane Flyfishers, and Lands Council together like this? And that’s not counting the people who heard about it and came out on their own. What a group, what an effort. To each and every one, THANK YOU.

Over 550 native species, e.g.—chokecherry, cotton wood, and oregon grape, and black cottonwood were planted along 800 feet of shoreline and a 1.9 acre area. In addition, 800 feet of temporary fencing was put in to protect the native plants until permanent structures are in place. All of this adds up to restoring the riparian area, improving habitat for fish, enhancing water quality, and making for an aesthetically pleasing water trail access and bike ride along Centennial Trail.

Funding for the project comes from an SCD mitigation fund that was established as part of building the new Appleway Bridge. In addition, the Forum raised funds to lease the land from Washington State Department of Transportation, help with project development, coordinate volunteers and address needs such as signage.

Said Andy Dunau, the Forum’s Executive Director, “This is a perfect example of desires for stewardship and river access working in concert with each other. A special thanks to Darden Foundation. Their local Olive Garden restaurants recommended this project as a place to put their stewardship dollars to work.”

The next steps, said Chutas, “Are to grade the access road to the non-motorized boat launch and put in parking, permanent fencing, and signage. We’ll then continue with watering and other needs over the next five years to assure the restoration fully takes. At the same time, Riverside State Park is taking on management responsibility, and the Forum will continue to organize volunteers to assist with clean-up and other needs.”

Continued Dunau, “This project took over five years to go from a great idea to reality. It’s a special day when you can stand out there with partners and volunteers to see it come together.”