Students gathered around their young charges — 100 small Western Red Cedar trees, ready to be put in the ground along a small part of the 30-acre restoration site on the floodplain of Nookachamps creek.

For some Mount Vernon High School students, Tuesday’s restoration project with the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group was the first time they had ever planted a tree. The project aims to improve salmon habitat on the area — a former dairy farm.

Digging, planting and patting the baby cedars into their new home was a muddy, sometimes difficult task for the students, who worked on the project with science teacher Laurelynn Brooks, as well as Casey Costello and Katie Lutz of the fisheries group.

Mount Vernon High School students have been part of the project for five years, with many of the trees planted in the past now shading out the invasives species that took over the site and providing habitat for the native wildlife.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Skagit Valley Herald.

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