Boise kids dig restoring Table Rock

Equipped with shovels, gloves, water and 300 plants, nearly 40 Riverstone International School students replanted 10 acres of Table Rock on Thursday.

Middle and high school students joined forces with the Bureau of Land Management and the City of Boise to re-establish sagebrush that was destroyed by the 2,500-acre Table Rock fire in June.

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“The fire angered me, but now I can give back and help Table Rock regrow,” said Jackson Coyle, a sophomore at Riverstone.

Martha Brabec, a foothills restoration specialist with the City of Boise, explained the rehabilitation process, fire ecology and dry-land restoration post-fire to the kids. The city provided all the supplies, including the new plants.

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“Students are approaching this iconic landscape in Boise and planting on trails that they will walk on in the future,” said Brabec. “It’s important for them to understand the process of regrowth.”

The replanting effort is part of Riverstone’s service program, which promotes volunteering in the community.

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“Rather than staying at home when they have the day off for parent-teacher conferences, students donate their time to community organizations,” said Kathleen Gilton, the director of community engagement at Riverstone.

Nearly 180 students participated community service projects on Thursday. While some were on top of Table Rock, others landscaped at Zoo Boise, the Riverstone campus and at Molenaar and Esther Simplot parks. A few others worked inside at the Discovery Center of Idaho.

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Riverstone students are spreading mulch in preparation for the opening of Esther Simplot Park.

Riverstone students volunteer at community service projects at least twice a year.