The Bayou Preservation Association and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) teamed up recently with students from Carnegie Vanguard High School (CVHS) in HISD for a stream corridor restoration project at Japhet Creek Nature Park in a small east Houston neighborhood.
Twenty students planted more than 200 native plants including Wood Fern, Tropical sage, Loblolly Pine, Turk’s Cap, Giant Cane and more to advance a project initiated earlier by Bayou Preservation Association. The effort is part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to SCA designed to “increase environmental literacy, promote environmental stewardship and positively influence consumptive behavior among CVHS students, by providing them with water conservation and protection education.”
Previously, 50 SCA students removed invasive, exotic plants, shrubs and trees at the Park under the guidance of the Bayou Preservation Association’s Eric Ruckstuhl, a botanist who is an expert on native and invasive, exotic plant species. After Ruckstuhl marked the plants for removal, students eagerly took to eliminating the invaders to make room for native plants later on.
“The collaboration between the Student Conservation Association and Bayou Preservation Association is invaluable in giving students hands-on experience and practical knowledge about our waterways and how invasive, exotic plant species are detrimental to areas in and around the water,” says De Casas, SCA’s program coordinator. “These young people are learning about bayou stewardship from the experts at Bayou Preservation Association, whose mission is to restore the natural richness of bayous and streams. I’m proud of the kids’ commitment to improving our environment one project at a time.”