Planting Starts at Hamilton’s Skalkaho Bend
Wednesday, March 31, over 200 plants were put in the ground at Hamilton's Skalkaho Bend Park. Katie Vennie of the Bitter Root Water Forum said the species included in the swale are three types of Willows (over 8,000 cuttings were installed), along with Aspen, Dogwood and Cottonwood trees and the newly planted native seeds to complete the mix. In this section, some dark plastic weed mats were put down to prevent growth of reed canary grass, which is a problem weed in the area.
Vennie said the "Roots Against Erosion" plantings will happen three more times in April - Tuesday April 6. Sunday April 18 and Earth Day April 22. Each planting session will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Be prepared to wear "gardening" clothes, since you're going to be digging in the dirt. To sign up as a volunteer, contact the Bitter Root Water Forum. Ellie is handling the registrations at email@example.com. She also has more details about being part of the planting crew.
The reason for the project is that the Bitterroot River, alongside the park, has been migrating to the east, into the park. Estimates put the erosion as about an acre of land in the park area every 5 years. The City of Hamilton Public Works Department and the Water Forum are planting willows and other vegetation to reduce the erosion. The planting is in a fenced-in long, shallow swale that is planned to help control erosion from the Bitterroot River, and also maintain a nice view. The project would also provide future protection of the C&C Ditch, which is on the east side of the new park. You can find out more information at the Bitter Root Forum website.