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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Big Bend Habitat Restoration Project: A Natural Work of Heart

 American beaver on a Jordan River wetland pond.  Credit: Karri Smith, Jordan River Migratory Bird Reserve
American beaver on a Jordan River wetland pond. Photo by Karri Smith/Jordan River Migratory Bird Reserve

Imagine you have taken a break from your busy work or school day in your city life to go for a stroll in a nearby natural landscape for fresh air. The city lights are gone and the foggy skies have cleared, and you’re stopped in your path by the sight of the Big Dipper over a willow tree or a kingfisher diving into a river and resurfacing with a fish in its beak. These kinds of moments bring wonder and appreciation for the natural world and refresh people for their important everyday work in the city.

Now imagine that this flourishing natural park space was once in rough shape from floods, pollution, erosion and non-native plant species invading the area, and you and your fellow community members were a part of volunteer efforts to commence the restoration of the habitat. This is the story of the Big Bend Habitat Restoration Project in Utah. It is taking the combined efforts of the Service’s Utah Field Office, federal and state agencies, the City of West Jordan, and community volunteers to bring vegetation and enhanced wildlife habitat out of dirt and a run-down environment for the satisfaction and enjoyment of the people and their wildlife neighbors. Find out how people came together to kick off this ambitious restoration project and how they will have the help of an unexpected partner—the American beaver: http://1.usa.gov/1Pnbd3A.

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