Thursday, September 18, 2008
Cochran-Fountain City FFA & the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
The morning started early, but the students of Cochran-Fountain City and the staff from the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge were enthusiastic and cheerful. We met at the Lower Spring Lake Landing, just outside of Buffalo City, Wisconsin to take boats to one of the islands that students from the school's Future Farmers of America chapter spent time volunteering on.
The islands were constructed through the Environmental Management Program to restore habitat and diversity to the 500 acre backwater lake that is located on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River. Restoration of these islands is crucial to the natural habitat and migrating birds.
Students from the FFA chapter participated in a variety of activities through out the refuge. They worked with Refuge staff to remove two full pick-up trucks full of young purple loosestrife (an invasive species), documenting plant species during the growth season and loosestrife beetle propagation. Our visit to Water Snake Island showcased one of the biggest projects taken on by the students...the planting, tubing and matting nearly 1,000 native floodplain forest trees!
It was the first time students had returned to the island since planting the young trees, so to see their progress was exciting.
Thanks to the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge for their help and amazing boat driving skills! And thank you to Chris Jumbeck, the FFA advisor and teacher at Cochran-Fountain City.
Posted by Lisa at 7:30 PM