Volunteer Opportunities with BREN

Boise River Cleanups

Looking for a group volunteer opportunity?  River Cleanups are great for both small and large groups.  BREN hosts cleanups year-round, although for safety reasons, we avoid times of high water which are typically in late spring.  BREN supplies the trash bags and hauls them away after the event.  Other items to bring include:  gloves, grabber sticks, bug spray/sunscreen, closed toe shoes.

To schedule a river cleanup please email BREN at info@boiseriverenhancement.org

River Cleanup

‘Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here’ Annual Boise River Cleanup

We don’t know why people trash the river, but we do know we have amazing and underappreciated people who take time to clean it up!  In acknowledgement of those doing the often-invisible labor of picking up after others the first annual ‘Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here’ Boise River Cleanup was held in 2023.  The 2024 community wide cleanup will be held Saturday, October 12th.  Bring your friends, family and co-workers and help clean up the banks of the Boise River.  Trash bags and gloves will be provided or bring your own.  Trash will be weighed at the end of the event and added to the 2024 total.

Check in from 9-9:30 to collect supplies if needed.

Clean up from 9:30-11:30.  Walk, bike, roll, or drive to a section of the river you want to focus on.  Meet back at Anne Morrison Park by noon to have your trash weighed.

Please complete the form below to register.

“YMDWH’ River Cleanup 2024 – Google Forms

Your Mother Doesn't Live Here River Cleanup participants

Boys with CrayfishBoys with crayfishBoy with crayfish

Crayfishing for the University of Idaho Mercury Crayfish Study

For the last 3 years BREN has assisted the University of Idaho with their project to document mercury levels in the Boise River using crayfish.  In late August or early September volunteers head to a pre-determined spot on the river to catch as many crayfish as they can.  This is a family friendly event and children are not only welcome but are often the ones who catch the most!  All you need is a bucket, shoes that can get wet, some patience and a sense of adventure.

BREN will be collecting again in 2024 so keep checking back for details or follow our social media pages.  More information on the crayfish project can be found here:  https://crayfish.nkn.uidaho.edu/

Boise River CrayfishingBoise River Crayfishing

U of I Mercury Crayfish Study
Family Crayfishing
Crayfish Catch

Black Cottonwood Gather & Grow

Each June volunteers gather black cottonwood seeds from up and down the river.  These seeds are planted in germination trays, then tended all summer and into fall until seedlings are big enough to transplant.  BREN cares for the trees for 2 years with the help of our community partners such as the Foothills Learning Center.  The trees are eventually planted along the Boise River to help create a genetically diverse cottonwood forest.

Why?  Before Lucy Peak Dam and other methods of flood control the river would flood seasonally.  These flood waters cleaned debris away and created an ideal seedbed for black cottonwood seeds to germinate in.  As floodwaters receded gradually, the cottonwood roots would grow deep into the soil to maintain close contact with the water table.   Since the river is no longer to flood like it used to, it is more difficult for cottonwoods to germinate and grow along the banks.  Many of the mature trees are nearing the end of their natural lifespan and the newer trees have grown from runners and are genetically identical to their parent tree.  Collecting seed ensures genetic diversity and maintains a strong population of trees.

Watch of social media pages and newsletter for information on this volunteer opportunity.  Volunteers can do as little or as much as they like.  Some just gather seeds and help plant them into the germination trays, other people prefer to keep their cottonwood until fall until they are transplanted into larger pots.