Students turn Christmas trees into fish habitat

Published 5:07 pm Thursday, January 17, 2013

DHS students Blake Bowden and Austin Thornbough help band trees together that will soon be dropped into the river for fish habitats.

Snowflakes painted a picturesque winter scene Thursday morning throughout Demopolis.

However, the cold weather didn’t stop eager Demopolis High students, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, from working to create fish habitats along the river.

“The snow is not going to stop us,” Anne Cross, ranger said. “We are excited to come together as a community to create fish habitat.”

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The students and USACE workers bundled old Christmas trees that will soon be sunk in different areas along the river. The trees make great habitats for fish like crappie.

Pieces of iron will be tied to the trees that will sink them about 10 feet or so, according to Brandon Smith from USACE.

Various participants helped to band trees together to create fish habitats. Shown in the picture are Jason Cassity, Austin Thornbough, Brandon Smith, Marshall Thomas, Joy Snellgrove, Dakota Cunningham, Blake Bowden, Ben Sherrod and Anne Cross (kneeling).

Demopolis High school FFA club and agriculture department worked on the project.

Students in the high school FFA club and agriculture department worked on the project.

Teacher Joy Snellgrove said experience teaches students several valuable skills by granting them this hands-on experience.

“It teaches them more about conservation efforts,” she said. “Also they learn job skills and get to see other job opportunities out there.”

Students thought the project was very fun, despite Thursday’s cold weather.

“It’s fun to do something like this and help,” Dakota Cunningham, a junior said.

Cunningham said students have been learning more about reusing items in class and this project gave them a chance to get help in the community.

Later this month, there will be three boats that will go out on the river to drop the trees. The trees were all donated from people throughout Demopolis.

Also partnering with DHS and the USACE for the project is Alabama Power, the city of Demopolis, Tractor Supply, the U.S. Coast Guard and volunteers of Foscue Park.