Highland Park fourth grade students released over 50 Rainbow Trout they raised in the classroom into the ravine stream at on April 13.
The release is the result of the combined environmental efforts of Trout Unlimited, the Park District of Highland Park, and the fourth grade class at .
The Gary Borger Chapter of Trout Unlimited, a national conservation organization committed to conserving, protecting and restoring coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, teamed with Braeside on the Trout in the Classroom project. Supplied with aquariums and supplies, the fourth graders raised Rainbow Trout from eggs to fingerlings, monitored the tank’s water quality, and engaged in stream habitat study.
“We are so proud to involve our school children in this attempt to restore the places fish historically used for shelter, food and spawning habitat." said Rebecca Grill, Natural Areas Manager for the Park District of Highland Park.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funded the Park District’s Stream Habitat Restoration Project at Ravine Drive resulting in the removal of a barrier at the mouth of the ravine to allow fish passage. The District also restored approximately 1,000 linear feet of the stream bed. Major construction was completed in two phases and included the creation of pool and riffle structures for fish habitat and the reduction of sediment flowing to Lake Michigan.
"This feat of memory on the part of little fish is one of nature's miracles,” notes Grill. “It is our hope that the stream restoration allows the fish to return here to spawn in two to three years and that our ravine streams can again be sustainable fisheries.”