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Alaska Life

Campbell Creek restoration puts Anchorage teens to work

  • Author: Marc Lester
  • Updated: July 6, 2018
  • Published July 5, 2018

Denise Bamurange, 16, carries a bucket of soil.  (Marc Lester / ADN)

Six teens worked with leaders to help restore a bank of Campbell Creek near Minnesota Drive in Anchorage on Thursday. The crew is part of Youth Employment in Parks, a summer work program hosted by the Anchorage Park Foundation and Anchorage Parks and Recreation.

The workers, ages 16-19, carried pails of soil, hammered holes in the ground to plant willows and spruce trees, and took plenty of water breaks as they worked on a warm day. The vegetation will bolster a bend in the creek that had been eroding toward the paved Campbell Creek Trail.

It's just the latest project in the YEP's twelve-year history improving Anchorage Parks, said supervisor Annie DuBois. The ten-week summer program is designed to instill leadership skills in the conservation of public land.

Sixteen-year-old Denise Bamurange said the work reminded her of work she did in Rwanda, where she moved to Anchorage from a few years ago. "I like to work hard," Bamurange said. "I feel like I'm earning something that I deserve."

Isabelle Magana, 16, spreads soil where willows and spruce trees were planted.  (Marc Lester / ADN)
Liam Lally, 17, fills a bucket for Denise Bamurange, 16. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Travis Pense, 16, takes a water break.  (Marc Lester / ADN)
Isabelle Magana, 16, taps a hole in the ground to plant willows. (Marc Lester / ADN)