Students and instructors with College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Horticulture Technology program are launching a new community project with a week full of service and fun. Restoration Week will allow Horticulture Technology students to take break from the classroom setting and bring them outside to take part in activities, get to know one another, and hear from restoration experts.
The week is in conjunction with the kick off to the Horticulture Technology’s restoration work on a new plot of land they’ve acquired through the Boise River Re-WILD project.
“Students do not get a break until Thanksgiving, and they become so exhausted,” said Horticulture Instructor, Casey O’Leary. “The department wanted to think of something to do outside of the classroom norm, while students still learn about good content. When the work with the Boise River Re-WILD project came up, I thought this could be a great way to kick off to doing work on the site, have some fun, and learn.”
The Boise River Re-WILD project is a grassroots project that aims to restore over 50 acres of habitat along the Boise River by 2023. CWI’s Horticulture Technology program is one of 100 community organizations who have adopted a half-acre plot and are working to remove invasive species, grow, plant, and maintain native plants, and monitor project outcomes.
The plot of land is located at 5657 E. Warm Springs Ave., Boise, ID 83716, which is on Idaho State Parks and Recreation land, near the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.
“For me, this project is a good example of what's possible when you you base your coursework on a community project. It can lead to increased student engagement and goodwill within our institution and around our community,” O’Leary said. “I think it has a lot of potential to serve our students and the community really well.”
Restoration Week will kick off on Monday, Oct. 24, with a full line-up of industry experts and guest speakers who will share their expertise about these types of restoration projects including information about the Boise River corridor ecosystem and insights on industry-standard best practices in and around the Treasure Valley.
Throughout the week, Horticulture Technology students will engage with one another to explore the project more in-depth in their coursework. The week will end with a department-wide planting day on Thursday, Oct. 27.
Restoration Week Activities
Those with questions or in need of more information, contact Casey O’Leary at firstname.lastname@example.org