Volunteers help restore Yakima River floodplains

Volunteers help restore Yakima River floodplains »Play Video
"It's good for the planet when you plant trees," said little Amir.

That's just one reason why community members volunteered their time at Billy's Pond. And these trees really will help Yakima. They are being planted to help restore the Yakima River flood plains and animal habitat.

It's one step in the big Yakima River floodplain restoration project from Selah to Union Gap.

Ryan Anderson led the project at Billy's Pond.

"We don't have enough Flood plains. Flood plains are really important to salmon and they're important to about 90% of species of animals and plants," said Ryan Anderson, Yakima Utility Engineer Wastewater Division.

Anderson says the trees will help keep soil in place when the area does flood. He says the shade from the trees should keep the water cooler too, which he says will encourage more salmon to populate Yakima waters.

Volunteers planted over 200 trees here at Billy's Pond and that's just the start. The city plans to have more planting events around the pond in the fall.

So far around seven thousand trees have been planted since the start of the project last summer.

Anderson says volunteers have been a big help. And volunteers like Mark McCart and his daughters are happy to lend a hand.

"I want my kids to learn about the environment and help with future generations and I want them to learn about the community and helping out as much as possible," Mark McCart

His two girls had a fun time getting their hands dirty.

"I feel really happy to help the environment," said EmmLee.

And so did many others.

It has cost about one million dollars for the floodplain restoration at Billy's pond. That money comes from state taxes and grants.