Boise River benefits from good teamwork

Taking care of the Boise River is a team effort. Teamwork is critical to enhancing Boise River wetlands and riparian areas that are home to more than 150 species of birds, at least 37 species of mammals and all manner of reptiles, amphibians and bugs. These special areas keep our river clean and cool, our fish fat and our rope swings swinging.

In an extraordinarily generous display of teamwork today, Thelma B. Lee and the Harris family gifted more than 3 acres of riverside land to the city of Boise for the creation of the Golda Harris Nature Preserve. Located immediately downstream of Marianne Williams Park, the Golda Harris Nature Preserve will provide the public with a quiet and reflective sanctuary and preserve in perpetuity healthy floodplain, wetland and riparian habitat.

Preservation of well-functioning areas like the Golda Harris Nature Preserve are recommended in the Boise River Enhancement Plan because they provide multiple ecosystem benefits.

Teamwork has also been making a difference at Boise's Ann Morrison Park where volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters and ENEL Green Energy have worked with Idaho Rivers United, the Boise River Enhancement Network and Boise City Parks and Recreation to enhance riparian habitat. In 2014, Big Brother Big Sisters planted cottonwood trees and spread grass-killing mulch to widen the riparian buffer. On October 16, 2015, a hard-working team from ENEL Green Energy, sawed down and yanked out Russian olive trees and other invasive plants, opening space for native species including willows and cottonwoods.

On November 3, Boise voters can ensure that more Boise River wetlands, floodplains and riparian areas are protected by voting "yes" on the Clean Water and Open Space ballot measure, an ultimate team effort.

We all win when we team up for the Boise River.