It’s another win for enhancement! The Land Trust of The Treasure Valley (LTTV) and BREN have been awarded a grant by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore upland and wetland/riparian habitat at the Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve in Boise, Idaho.
The 44-acre wildlife reserve is owned by the City of Boise and provides extensive wetland habitat and sagebrush, grass and shrub upland habitat in an otherwise urban setting. Over 150 bird species have been documented using the site, along with bats and other non-game animals. The site also treats stormwater; a vegetated sand filter treats stormwater from 57 acres before it flows into the Reserve’s wetlands and then to the Boise River less than one mile away, thus buffering the effects of urban runoff on the Boise River. However, a recent survey shows 58% of the plant species are exotic non-natives. The uplands are especially overrun with undesirable species including cheatgrass, quackgrass, kochia, tumblemustard, and Queen Anne’s lace. These invasive plants cause a marked reduction in biodiversity as well as a significant fire risk to the Reserve and surrounding neighborhoods.
The grant will be used to restore native vegetation by removing weeds and cultivating and planting native plants on 12 acres. Many partners including LTTV, Intermountain Bird Observatory, The Wetlands Group LLC, and Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign will serve on the expert team to ensure the work plan is scientifically sound. Under the leadership of BREN and the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley, experts and community members will create and implement a habitat restoration work plan that includes 5-year goals, timelines, assignments and evaluation criteria making it possible for the City of Boise to realize the full potential of this easily-accessible urban reserve. We are also partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Idaho Office of Refugees to develop a multicultural stewardship program that provides outreach and engagement to low-income and refugee populations.
Stay tuned for more information on this project in the months to come!