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Stony Gorge Reservoir habitats replenished
Willows Intermediate School students are have taken recycling Christmas trees to an all new level.
The Noble pine and Douglas fir trees that made dozens of living rooms brighter during the holidays, will be converted this weekend into suitable habitat for small fish.
The project started last year at Stony Gorge Reservoir, and will expand to include a project at Black Butte Lake near Orland.
The students, all youth involved in the school's River Jim's Adventure Camp, will submerge the trees at Stony Gorge on Saturday and Black Butte Lake next weekend as long as trees continue to be dropped off behind the bike racks at the school.
Willows Intermediate School math and workshop teacher Jim Shively, Adventure Camp administrator, said the trees will provide shelter to young and small fish so they will not be over-fished by larger predators.
Shively said about 7 to 10 kids will participate in Saturday's excursion.
"Some of them were involved last year," he said. "They really enjoyed the experience and want to do it again."
The trees will be secured upright in the shallows near the shore, but will become completely submerged as winter runoff raises the water level.
Glenn County Fish and Game Commission provides the cable, Shively said.
Although this is the second year for Adventure Camp students to recycle Christmas trees into habitat, students have been involved in River JIm's camping adventures at Stony Gorge and other campgrounds in the North State for several years.
About 60 kids have enjoyed the overnight camping and canoeing trip held in May.
Another 120 kids have been on one-day excursions.
The camping program is designed to build relationships between teachers and students, which ultimately helps students do better in school and do better in life, Shively said.
Shively, who is also a longtime Willows Boy Scout leader, has long understood the benefits of engaging children in activities that build character, encourages personal growth, increases physical fitness, makes responsible citizens and allows student to forge strong bonds with good role models.
He continues to work on his master's degree at Chico State on the relational approach to cooperative classrooms, and the value of strong teacher-student relationships in proactively addressing disciplinary problems.
When first implemented in 2006, River Jim's received one-time funding from Glenn County Office of Education's Spark after -school program.
Since then, the program has twice been awarded a $1,500 grant from the Community Wish Foundation for its continuance.
In September, River Jim's received $2,000 from the Barceloux-Tibessart Foundation and $1,200 from the Willows Police Activities League.
Students also plan to help with fundraising activities, and will hold their annual Spaghetti dinner in the spring.
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or email@example.com.