Nine Defenders of Wildlife volunteers joined Caitlin Balch-Burnett, our Colorado Outreach Representative, at Eldorado Canyon State Park to celebrate the 17th Annual National Public Lands Day. The staff at Eldorado Canyon State Park hosted a number of volunteer projects designed to enhance visitors’ experiences at the park, such as building stone steps from the road down to the creek to preserve the banks that were heavily eroded from hikers. There were also projects to restore wildlife habitat and the natural beauty of the area, including a tree-planting project and a creek clean-up. In addition to the group of Defenders volunteers, there was a Girl Scout Troop and a number of foreign exchange students from Bulgaria helping to ensure that Coloradoans—and our wildlife—have natural, open spaces to thrive in for years to come.
It was a beautiful, fall Colorado day and the Defenders volunteers jumped right into the South Boulder Creek clean-up project! Fortunately, there wasn’t too much trash in the creek itself, so the volunteers were able to focus on the creek banks and surrounding vegetation. They hiked along the creek, climbing up and down the banks and around large boulders, picking up trash that had been wedged in between rocks and stuck in the tall vegetation. Volunteers picked up lots of cans, bottles, Styrofoam cups and even flip flops!
The creek clean-up was especially important because of a number of cold-water fish species that live there, including rainbow, brook, and brown trout, longnose dace, and white and longnose suckers. Cleaning out trash and debris in the South Boulder Creek before the trout spawn in mid-October was essential to helping these fish species survive.
Thanks again to our fantastic volunteers for helping our Colorado wildlife!