Successful Volunteer Event at Indian Valley Meadow Restoration Project


More than 60 volunteers came out to work and learn about the Indian Valley Meadow restoration

More than 60 volunteers came out to work and learn about the Indian Valley Meadow restoration | Elizabeth Soderstrom

On September 29 a group of more than 60 volunteers and project partners gathered in Indian Valley meadow for a volunteer work and education event. Indian Valley, located in the Eldorado National Forest, forms the headwaters of the North Fork Mokelumne River. Although strikingly beautiful, with sweeping views and rugged volcanic spires, the meadow’s condition is highly degraded because of historic grazing and other human impacts.

This fall, through $366,440 in funding from Coca-Cola and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and partnership with the US Forest Service and others, American Rivers has orchestrated restoration to repair one mile of eroded stream channel and replenish groundwater throughout the meadow.

These restoration activities will provide improved late season groundwater storage important for water supply, reduced sediment transport, and improved habitat for sensitive species, helping the meadow to once again function as a vital part of the watershed.

Water supply map of Indian Valley Meadow

Water supply map of Indian Valley Meadow (click for larger view) | East Bay MUD

With construction near completion on September 29, project partners brought volunteers out to participate in on-the-ground restoration activities. Project funder, Coca-Cola, contributed the bulk of volunteers, wanting to connect employees with the source of the water used at its bottling plant in San Leandro, CA. Water for this plant comes from East Bay Municipal Utility District, which gets 94% of its water from the Mokelumne River.

During the event, volunteers planted native willows and sedges, vegetation that is typical of healthy wet meadow systems and will help stabilize the newly amended stream channel and help restore a more natural condition at the site. Volunteers also participated in educational workshops covering meadow ecology, the history of Indian Valley, meadow wildlife, and hydrological monitoring.

Coca-Cola funded restoration efforts and encouraged employees to volunteer

Coca-Cola funded restoration efforts and encouraged employees to volunteer | Julie Fair

“Partnership” was the word of the day, with all project partners reiterating the sentiment voiced by Denny Silva, Vice President of Market Unit Field Operations for Coca-Cola, that “no one entity could succeed” in restoring important resources like clean waterways. Getting partners together and volunteers out to help with on-the-ground restoration at this event served as a great reminder of this and helped solidify partnerships and create awareness that will hopefully lead to other successful restoration projects in the future

We are excited to be a partner in this great restoration project, and inspired by the success of a restoration effort in which American Rivers played a key role. Check out this photo album from implementation and the volunteer event and look for more photos and updates as the project progresses.