Prairie dogs are a natural component of shortgrass prairies. With the continual urbanization of the Front Range, their habitat has been shrinking, and conflicts between homeowners and agriculture are on the rise. The beautiful Monarch property, south of Niwot, is home to an extensive prairie dog colony, that is bounded on three sides by homes and development. Neighbors are willing to work with Boulder County to manage the prairie dogs in the area. WRV will help Boulder County plant native shrubs as a visual and aesthetic barrier and build a backup chicken wire barrier while the shrubs are maturing. Once mature, native shrub barriers trigger the prairie dog natural instinct to stay away because brush is natural habitat for predators. Work would include installing approximately 1600' of chicken wire onto an existing fence, planting approximately 1200 bareroot shrubs, and installing a temporary drip line system. Lunch provided.
Celebrate Earth Day and help protect Colorado by combating some of its prairies' most threatening enemies. In a continued effort to eradicate Mediterranean sage from the state, join 400 volunteers and walk the beautiful open spaces of northeast Boulder, shovel in hand, removing this weed from our native grasslands. Building on the success of the 2004 Mediterranean sage removal project, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers will return to Boulder County to continue the urgent fight against this destructive and prolific weed. Left unchecked, it aggressively invades grasslands, reduces native plant populations, degrades wildlife habitat and affects the overall health of prairie ecosystems. Mediterranean sage is a biennial plant, living for two years. In 2004, many of the first-year plants were too small for volunteers to see, making it necessary to return and remove the remaining plants before they go to seed this year. Currently, there is only one known population of this invasive species in Colorado. Local and state agencies believe it is possible to eradicate this weed from the state before it spreads beyond control. The best time to remove Mediterranean sage is in early spring when the weed has not bloomed, is easily identified and removed, and can be left on-site to decompose. Minimum Age: 10. Number of Volunteers: 400.
Since 1999, WRV and its partner, the James Creek Watershed Initiative, have involved hundreds of volunteers in seven different projects to restore health to this watershed. This long term effort was initiated to curb serious threats to municipal water quality for the community of Jamestown. In 2005, we will reduce sediment deposition into a mile-long stretch of James Creek. After heavy equipment is used to improve road drainage, volunteers will stabilize stream banks with various willow planting techniques, plant native seed, apply erosion fabric, and remove weeds. Those attending the project will be invited to an evening party at the Jamestown town hall. There will be great live music and yummy food provided by the Masa Grill.
Date: June 4-5 Extended Project: Jun 1-5 (Boardwalk only)
Description: The 25,000 acre Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, near Walden, Colorado, protects critical wildlife habitat along 27.4 miles of the Illinois River. This place is gorgeous, with abundant elk, moose, birds, and a spectacular panorama of surrounding mountains. The high mountain willow riparian community is very important for neotropical migrating songbirds. However, much of the willow community was removed by previous ranching practices. In 2005, WRV will work on two distinct projects at the refuge:
1. June 4-5: We will gather and plant willow cuttings in a wide variety of ways along the banks of the Illinois River. This project builds on work we began last year as part of a river restoration research project. The purpose is to identify the most effective willow planting techniques that can be applied on a massive scale in the coming years to restore many miles of the Illinois River.
2. June 1-5: We will reconstruct 400 feet of an existing 1700 foot boardwalk that accesses beautiful habitat along the Illinois River. Currently, the entire boardwalk is closed because of the damaged portion. Our work will allow the entire boardwalk to be re-opened for public access, including especially persons with disabilities. This portion of the project will involve five days of carpentry work, led by at least one of WRV's best carpenters. If you enjoy carpentry, or would like to learn more in a spectacular outdoor setting, and you're available for a five day stretch, then this is the project for you.
Meals will be provided. Number of Volunteers: 60 on weekend; 10 for boardwalk. Min. Age: 12 with an adult.
● Minimum Age: 12 (more info)
Wednesday Jun 15, 2005 - Number of Volunteers: 50
Boulder County Parks and Open Space is restoring two miles of Rock Creek in a massive restoration effort. As a part of this larger effort, WRV volunteers will plant 5,400 wetland plants to restore a quarter mile stretch of Rock Creek. This midweek project is a great opportunity for company groups and other volunteers to help restore an important oasis of habitat surrounded by development. Lunch provided.
Rocky Mountain National Park is a prime destination for millions of summer travelers. Park biologists plan to reclaim the old Glacier Creek livery stable site to re-establish the natural wetlands that existed there fifty years ago. WRV will assist the Park Service by transplanting 17,000 plants, grown in the RMNP Greenhouse from locally gathered seeds. This area has beautiful panoramic views. Volunteers will camp at Morraine Park Camp, a site devoted specially to volunteer and other special groups. Meals will be provided. Minimum Age: 12 with an adult. Number of Volunteers: 70.
The trails extending into the Indian Peaks Wilderness near Brainard Lake are among the most heavily used wilderness trails in the country. Lake Isabelle receives a lot of traffic-and, for good reason, since it is truly spectacular, situated in a classic glacial valley. At the west end of this valley the Continental Divide towers above the Isabelle Glacier. The trail above the lake, toward the glacier, is in need of serious trail maintenance. Volunteer activities will include trail maintenance, closure, and reroutes, plus rock work and alpine restoration. This year's work is a continuation of the great work we began in 2004. Normally, the area is closed to camping, but we have received special permission from the Forest Service to camp at a location north east of the lake. Meals will be provided. This project includes a 2 mile backpack into Lake Isabelle. The food and some of the gear will be hauled in by llamas.
The Sourdough trail is heavily used and loved by mountain bikers in the summer and skiers in the winter. In 2004, the Boulder Offroad Alliance constructed a new route to bypass wetland areas. We have been invited to close, reveg, and control erosion in the old trail segments. We will also close and reveg a half mile of trail around another beautiful wetland/meadow to the west with views of the continental divide. Our efforts would help to protect this wonderful wildlife habitat. Volunteers will stay overnight at the historic CMC Brainard cabin. Meals provided.
On Wednesday, August 17th, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers will spend a morning enjoying the outdoors while protecting the Lefthand Creek area from noxious weeds. Join us in this small but important effort to prevent the spread of Russian Olive and other problem plants! Previous stream restoration transformed a damaged stretch of Lefthand Creek into a high quality wetland and stream area with habitat for diverse wildlife. Yearly removal of Russian olive and other noxious weeds will maintain the quality of this habitat and community pleasure in walking or bicycling the adjacent Longmont Greenway Trail.
Number of volunteers: 8. Minimum age with adult: 12.
Areas of habitat along Forest Road 286, in Left Hand Canyon, have been severely impacted by years of motorized recreation. The Forest Service, and many members of the motorized community agree that this area needs help. Last year, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers collaborated with the Forest Service, Trail Ridge Runners, and Walsh Environmental Services, to complete the first phase of an award-winning project to restore 14 acres of severely disturbed land. That work benefited a much larger area of habitat as well as downstream water quality. The transformation was startling and beautiful! In 2005, we will continue this success, doing similar work in the adjacent watershed to the East, where numerous spur roads criss-cross the landscape. Heavy equipment will prepare the site. Volunteers will seed multiple areas, apply erosion fabric and construct erosion preventing structures. All of this work is protected by fence barriers and extensive user education to ensure long term success. Lunch will be provided.
The Elephant Buttresses are a prime climbing spot on the north side of Boulder Canyon just west of Boulder. Climbers access the area through a maze of user created social trails. The Silver Lake Ditch runs through the area, at the base of the cliffs. There is a great need to close off the unsustainable trails and establish a series of better routes to the various climbing areas. Hiker created erosion is threatening the pipeline itself which provides water to Boulder. This project will involve trail construction, trail closure, rock work, weed removal and extensive revegetation work. Partners on this project include WRV, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, Arrowhead Trails, Access Fund, and the Flatirons Climbing Council. Lunch will be provided.
The 1,050 acre St. Vrain State Park is an ideal location for a variety of outdoor enthusiasts, including fishermen, campers, birders, photographers, hikers, bikers, and boaters. The park boasts some of northern Colorado's best warm-water fishing. The parks master plan calls for extensive habitat restoration and expansion of recreational opportunities over the coming years. WRV volunteers will: plant shrubs, trees, and wetland plants; salvage plants, and remove noxious weeds.
There is much work to be done at St. Vrain Park to transform it into the gem of habitat and recreation envisioned in the master plan. WRV will use this year's project as a focal point to help form a "Friends of St. Vrain State Park" group devoted to this long term vision.