ROANOKE, Va. – The organization Trout Unlimited wrapped up its national conference Sunday in Roanoke, but before members left the Star City many helped out with a stream restoration project in Roanoke County's Vineyard Park.
Volunteers worked together to add the missing piece to the bank of Glade Creek: trees that will hold the soil together with their roots.
"If this project hadn't been done, you would have had many, many years of continued pollution of sedimentation here in Glade Creek and then down into Tinker Creek," Trout Unlimited program manager Seth Coffman said.
Coffman said that pollution can cause serious problems for the ecosystem.
"You have a silty, sandy, more muddy stream bottom, which is bad for habitat for fish, it's bad for the aquatic bugs that live in the creek, they can't live in that type of stuff, so they need more of that clean gravel and cobble," Coffman said.
Volunteers from Roanoke County and the local chapter of Trout Unlimited were also on-hand to help plant trees. Aside from restoring the creek, members of the county parks and rec department say it's a great way to show off what Roanoke has to offer.
"It's great with these conferences, because people get to see what's so great about Roanoke, because you can be anywhere outdoors, enjoy some recreation, especially out here in our parks, within 10, 15 minutes of really anywhere that you are, and it's a great thing," parks and rec Volunteer Coordinator Alex North said.
It's been about 15 years since wild trout swam in the creek, but Coffman says the trees hopefully will help bring them back one day.
"By having the trees there, they create shade so we can maintain cold temperatures for a better habitat," Coffman said.
The group hopes to continue their work in the future by leveling out the steep banks further downstream. The company Orvis donated all of the materials for the tree-planting. Orvis will also pay for an informational kiosk to go there in the future that will have information about the river and the wildlife that lives there.