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ESF Students Introduce Syracuse High School Students to Ecological Restoration


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry hosted 18 high school students July 9 at the site of an innovative project in the Solvay Settling Basins.

The 14- and 15-year-old students with the new Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central and are involved in the CNY Works job program, learned about the extensive salt marsh restoration project.

“What we’re doing is ecological restoration,” said ESF Ph.D. candidate Anthony Eallonardo. “We’re recreating an inland salt marsh.”

Under the direction of Dr. Donald Leopold, chair of the ESF Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, Eallonardo and his crew have planted a two-acre area with prairie grass, dune plants and salt marsh species that will recreate an inland salt marsh to contain saline runoff, prevent erosion, bring back native plants and create wildlife habitat.

The Syracuse City School District students were briefed by ESF students on the overall project, learned how each plant species serves a specific purpose, and then they did some planting.

The visit to the Solvay Settling Basins is part of ESF Science (Summer Camps Investigating Ecology in Neighborhoods and City Environments) created by ESF Outreach through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is part of a 13-week summer program involving students from throughout the Syracuse City School District.

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