Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project

November 5, 2015: 

SCC Crew at 4UR Ranch
The end of October was a busy time for the                                                                                                                   RGHRP! We spent multiple days making site                                                                                                                   visits to our lively Southwest Conservation                                                                                                                 Corps crew working at the 4UR Ranch.                                                                                                                     Stationed on Goose Creek, the 8 person crew                                                                                                                   was assigned with transplanting willows from                                                                                                                     a nearby donor site as a way to stabilize                                                                                                             streambanks and improve riparian habitat. 

Though the skies were seldom clear, and                                                                                                             precipitation abundant, this crew was nothing                                                                                                                   but cheerful and hardworking. They even                                                                                                                 survived a run-in with the Ranch's ornery 50                                                                                                              head of horses. Their tents did not fare as well, as they were partially eaten by the hungry equines. Albeit some hold ups, we tried to make the crew's stay as comfortable as possible and surely appreciated their understanding and flexible attitudes!

This willow planting project was made possible through a partnership with the 4UR Ranch and the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, and was funded with grants through Colorado Youth Corps Association and Xcel Energy. 

The SCC crew transplanted over 400 willow clumps (by hand!) along sections of Goose Creek that lacked riparian vegetation. These willows will sprout roots and grow into bushes along the edge of the water resulting in increased shade, stabilized streambanks, and improved quality of native trout and wildlife habitat. 
Because the crew was on the job for ten days, RGHRP had multiple opportunities to educate on the importance of river restoration and overall watershed health. We love when others get just as excited as we do about our watershed!

We are grateful to continue our relationship with SCC crews - they are always a wonderful group to get to know and work with!

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Hello! My name is Andréa and I am very excited to be RGHRP’s newest member here in Alamosa. Previously to my move to the valley, I was living in Boise, Idaho and recently received my BS in Architecture from the University of Idaho. Coming from a reasonably dry Western US state has instilled in me a passion for promoting sustainable use of our water resources. Through the program of Mennonite Voluntary Service and my own interests in water as an invaluable resource, I was placed with the restoration project.

With my background in sustainable architecture and design, I hope to bring a creative mind to the project with work in graphics, involvement in the receiving of grants and community outreach. Although I am less versed in the technical/ecological side of river restoration, I am eager to be a part of the project and other community discussions and conferences to further my education and be a better asset to RGHRP. It has been exciting to visit sites in which the restoration project has already enhanced the outlook of the river, as well as being a part of future improvements and programs. Right now, I am most looking forward to working with other groups on the Del Norte Riverfront Project. I believe this project will work to rebuild a symbiotic relationship between the Rio Grande and the town of Del Norte. RGHRP is doing awesome things and I feel grateful to be a part of it all! 

September 2, 2015