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    Omaha District partners with WOZU group to plant native vegetation near Standing Rock bike trails

    Omaha District partners with WOZU group to plant native vegetation near Standing Rock bike trails

    Photo By Delanie Stafford | Volunteers from the WOZU group and staff from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha...... read more read more



    Story by Delanie Stafford 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District

    A team from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District’s Oahe Project traveled to Cannon Ball, North Dakota May 16 to participate in a planting project with the WOZU group that will incorporate native plants into the ecosystem.
    The WOZU group was founded in 2021 as a non-profit organization created to develop climate resiliency through increased biodiversity between plants, animals and people. The organization is led by indigenous people and the term Wozu means “to plant” in the Lakota language.
    “WOZU wanted to create something for the community and for the outside communities so they can see what’s so special here,” said Dave Archambault, WOZU executive director. “It was just kind of our dream, our vision, to create access to the land. We do a lot of different activities; we generate agriculture, we created a bike trail so people can get access to the land and learn about plants and animals, and we also do a lot of arts and crafts for different people. Our target is our youth, just to give them a different perspective on the world and the beauty that it presents.”
    The idea for the project began a year ago when the WOZU group contacted the Oahe Project to inquire about building a small bike trail near the Cannon Ball River. Once it was determined the bike trail could be built, the Oahe Project agreed to support the project by planting native vegetation along sections of the trail that cross federal land. Research was conducted in advance to ensure only native species were selected.
    “Initially, we were interested in planting, and they were as well, so we decided to work together and have this tree planting,” said Joseph Pintal, Oahe Project operations project manager. “We’re bringing these native species back to the area - it helps out with your wildlife, your bird habitats, and that sort of thing.”
    The day-long project brought together youth and WOZU group volunteers from the Standing Rock Reservation with staff from the Oahe Project. As a result, more than 150 trees, bushes and shrubs were planted to include chokecherry, elderberry, buffaloberry, juneberry, American plum and non-hybrid cottonwood seedlings.
    “This is just the beginning stages where we want to try and work with them and get some other native species out here,” said Patrick Feiock, Oahe Project natural resources manager. “They’re really big on promoting the youth and trying to get the youth outdoors and obviously that’s a big thing that we want to partner with.”
    The WOZU group plans to expand the trail even further. When it is finished, it will connect the Cannon Ball River to the town of Cannon Ball and the WOZU headquarters with both on-road and off-road trails.
    Pintal says they will continue to work with WOZU as the trail develops.
    “It’s a great partnership to have with the trail and we hope to continue this in the future and build some positive partnerships,” he said.


    Date Taken: 05.16.2024
    Date Posted: 05.30.2024 14:07
    Story ID: 472607
    Location: OMAHA, NEBRASKA, US

    Web Views: 24
    Downloads: 0