Workers have planted more than 18,000 native trees and shrubs along streams in Duluth, under a training and conservation project.
Called Duluth Stream Corps, unemployed and under-employed people received training and then planted native trees and shrubs, and removed invasive species like buckthorn, along the many streams that flow down the Duluth hillsides. The program operated through a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and is modeled on the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps.
Federal funding has run out but Angie Miller, Community Action Duluth's executive director, is looking for other sources of support.
"We're looking at possibly partnering with the city to do some flood work, repair the streams that were damaged in the flood, and we're really looking for new opportunities because this is a model we want to continue," Miller said.
Several of the formerly unemployed workers have found permanent jobs in conservation, she said.
The two-year project began in 2011. The floods earlier this year damaged some of the plantings, but Miller says many survived.
"Mostly what we were trying to accomplish was to reduce erosion and improve the quality of water that flows into Lake Superior," Miller said.
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