Outfitted in mud boots and work gloves, a group of students from the Hailey, Idaho Sage School came out to the ranch a few weeks ago to help us with our on-going stream restoration work. Under the tutelage of Farm Manager Tim Bennett, the group of students cut and planted 100 willow stakes and planted some native grass seed. After the work was done, they checked out the lambs and got to meet the Lava Lake Great-horned Owl.

The Sage School is a new, independent school that strives to create meaningful experiences for its students, engage them in the “real world,” assist them in becoming self-aware, connect them to their community, bring out their natural compassion, and engage them in actions to make the world a better place. The school believes that their environment assists its students in becoming fully engaged citizens who are committed to community action, and humanitarian and ecological responsibility. What better opportunity to connect students with their community, and take on ecological responsibility than to contribute to Lava Lake’s restoration work?

When the group arrived at the ranch, Tim showed students how to identify the different willow species, and how to cut stakes from the existing trees. Students then cut 100 willow poles and planted them along our “Phase II” restoration area. We’ve planted some willows here in the past, but needed the Sage School students to help us fill in the gaps from past efforts. After the willows were planted, the group cut each willow pole just above ground level, so that all of the plant’s energy goes into the roots, increasing the chance of survival.

The group then spent some time scattering native grass seeds in an area that was disturbed last year. We hope this leads to new growth and recovery.

The students had a great time checking out the ranch. We really appreciate their help in contributing to our restoration efforts and look forward to working with these awesome kids again in the future!

Great Horned Owl