Local group used recycled Christmas trees as part of conservation efforts

Palouse Conservation District will use adaptive programming like podcasts to improve community outreach during pandemic



Jennifer Boie, director of Palouse Conservation District, said PCD will use podcasts to better engage with the community during the pandemic.

JENAE LAXSON, Evergreen roots editor

The Palouse Conservation District met Tuesday night to discuss its conservation accomplishments last year and its plans for 2021.

Last year, PCD focused on buffer installation and maintenance in areas alongside rivers or streams. Staff also monitored steelhead fish habitat restoration, said conservation coordinator Stephanie Harper. 

PCD used recycled Christmas trees to stabilize stream banks, she said.

“If you historically have donated your Christmas tree to the district, it is out there on the landscape, working to help stabilize stream banks,” Harper said. 

PCD’s research and monitoring program will continue to perform reconnaissance sampling in the north and south forks of the Palouse River and Steptoe Canyon, research and monitoring coordinator Ryan Boylan said.

Boylan said the research and monitoring program has also partnered with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to monitor pesticides in Dry Creek. 

In 2021, PCD’s education and outreach program will implement adaptive programming to better engage with the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Shelley Scott, finance and administration manager. 

As part of the adaptive programming, PCD will use podcasts such as Palouse Pulse, Scott said. 

“It features staff, board members and landowners in each episode telling their stories of working with the districts,” she said.

A new long-range plan was developed in 2020, said PCD Director Jennifer Boie. The purpose of the plan is to restore the landscape, focusing on habitat, vegetation, prairie, pollinators and aesthetics.

PCD’s policy manual was also updated, she said. The Regional Conservation Partnership Program renewal application was approved for another $5.5 million grant. 

Boie said PCD would like to continue to strengthen its infrastructure to serve the community, as well as expand local and regional partnerships.