POCATELLO — After several raining and blustery days, the clouds parted and out came the sun just in time for the Chubbuck Stake Young Men youth group and its leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to participate in the multi-phase plan of cleaning out the old, diseased and invasive plants and trees above the new retaining wall along East Alameda Road.  

    The Alameda Hillside cleanup effort was held on Oct. 15 to assist Portneuf Valley Pride in its efforts to clean and beautify the Portneuf Valley area.          

    According to Kirk Peterson, treasurer for Portneuf Valley Pride, last year about 200 youth from the LDS Highland Stake chopped down old poplars, Russian olives and Siberian elms that were planted 20-plus years ago. The pile of brush was about 12 feet by 20 feet by 30 feet!  

    This year, around 100 youth participated, including several young women who came to help from the Chubbuck Stake, The youth cut down more of the invasive, non-native trees that continue to take over the sight to clear the way for next year’s planting of native trees and pine trees. There were multiple chains saws humming and youth carrying piles of brush all over the hillside. It was an impressive sight as a huge trash receptacle was filled with cut branches and leaves.  

    Adults from the group then painted a poison on the roots to prevent them from growing in the spring. Payton Thomas, one very strong young man who carried more than his share of branches, said, “I’m doing this for service hours for Scouts, but I feel like service is really important, and that’s why I’m here!”  

    Another group of kids agreed that service can be fun and they were having a good time. While the large group was cutting and clearing the site, another group from Chubbuck Stake went to a small area on Meadowbrook where tree branches had become so overgrown it prevented wheel chair access down the sidewalk. They cleared the path so that the street can now be accessed by everyone. At the end of the event, there were cookies galore and ice water for the hard working youth.          

    What a great asset these young people are to the preparation of the Alameda hillside for spring planting of trees and decorative rocks and trees to make this part of our city a great place for visitors and citizens to visit! Kirk said that Portneuf Valley Pride could not do this without the hard working youth from the city of Chubbuck and the Chubbuck Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.