Timberline High School Students Win Presidential Environmental Award

Three high school students from Boise did something an Idahoan hasn’t done in about thirty years.  They won what’s called the U.S. Presidential Environmental Youth Award.  Their successful project helped restore a part of the Boise River. 

Timberline High School juniors Carl Breidenbach, William D’Onofrio, and Nathan Wong teamed up on the restoration project in Southeast Boise.  Inspiration came from a popular summer activity.  "When we were floating the river with Nathan, we noticed that people were just trampling the beach. The vegetation had been decimated," says Breidenbach.

The three friends decided to do something about that.  What they thought would take a few months ended up a two-year odyssey through city and county bureaucracies.  Their work ultimately eased the effects of erosion, upgraded water quality, and improved trout habitat along that stretch of the river.  

They also learned a bit about themselves and others in the process.   Nathan Wong says "It's not easy to work with friends and to work with people that have different opinions than you have.  But it’s life. You’ve got to work with other people."

Their work isn’t finished says Breidenbach.  They’ll have to figure out how to keep people from damaging the restored bank.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sponsored the award. 

Adam Cotterell contributed to this story. 

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio