Students ranging from elementary to college age came together last week to help restore Ashland Pond in the north end of the city near Bear Creek. The effort was part of the capstone project of a group of Southern Oregon University students in the school's environmental education master’s program. The pond area was planted with native trees and other vegetation in 2008, but blackberry bushes had moved in and threatened to choke out the other plants. To prevent that, the SOU students recruited classes from Hedrick Middle School in Medford, Butte Falls Charter School and Madrone Trail Charter School in Medford  to help remove the blackberries and after the work led the classes in a pair of lessons on water quality and riparian habitats.

Photos by Jamie Lusch / Ashland Daily Tidings