COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- State officials are wrapping up a five-year project to improve the health of a northern Idaho aquifer by planting trees.
Idaho Department of Lands program planning specialist Mary Fritz told The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/17ikl5V ) that the program, funded through a $300,000 federal grant and matching funds, was a unique opportunity for the region to improve the Spokane-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. The department completed an analysis of the tree canopy in Kootenai County and found that trees cover just 14 percent of Coeur d'Alene, and around 7 percent of other nearby cities. Spokane, Wash., by contrast, is nearly 22 percent covered by trees.
New trees have now been planted and a blueprint was created for future planting. Officials say the trees will filter out water and air pollutants and reduce runoff and erosion.