BUTTE - Along Buffalo Street invasive plant species are being removed to make way for the planting of 1,000 native plant seedlings.
"Invasive species are rapidly spreading through here and overcrowding the space which is killing native species, so our hope is to eradicate the invasive species here and introduce native to restore the land," said Nicholas Rasschart.
Rasschart works as a field technician for Butte-Silver Bow County and is a master's student at Montana Tech in ecological restoration. He grew up in Michigan and saw how the land was degrading, so he decided to learn more about helping ecosystems recover.
"I felt it was important and a necessity to get further educated in the field because ecological restoration isn’t going anywhere," said Rasschart.
Rasschart and other Montana Tech students will be lending a hand planting native species in a remediated site along Buffalo Street. The goal of the restoration effort is to support native woody species that will prevent mine waste runoff from contaminating Silver Bow Creek.
"As we have stormwater that moves across these sites those woody species can help hold these caps in place and hold the grasses and everything else in place so that we don’t have the mine waste underneath these caps continuing on to the creek," said Abby Peltomaa, the Butte-Silver Bow County Department of Reclamation data manager.
Two of the native species that will be planted are creeping juniper and limber pines.
Flags will be placed next to readymade holes for the plants so the community can have an easier time placing the seedlings into the ground.
"It’s supposed to be community. It’s supposed to bring people together and spread the message that natives are super important," said Rasschart.
This project is a joint effort between the Butte-Silver Bow County Department of Reclamation, Montana Tech native plant program, and Butte Natural Resource Damage Council.
The planting event will take place on Oct. 8 at 12 p.m.