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Volunteers needed for trail work, Garden preservation, Waldo Canyon Fire rehab

       People wanting to “give back” to Westside-area environs they enjoy will have ample volunteer opportunities through the spring and early summer.
       There will even be a chance to build a new trail - the Sand Canyon Loop Trail, which will connect the west canyon of Red Rock Canyon Open Space with trails in other park canyons and the Intemann Trail. This project by the Manitou Springs Trail Cats is scheduled April 12 and May 10, according to CATS team leader Dave Dombach.
       “We walked the route last week and it is beautiful,” he states in an e-mail. “We will be doing one rock mono-wall and lots of basic trail, some on easy terrain and some on 60 percent hillside slope.”
       Most upcoming maintenance workdays have been scheduled by the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI), a Westside-based nonprofit that annually works in the Garden of the Gods. This year's target area will be the “open grasslands of the multi-use east side of the Garden [which] is prime grazing land for bighorn sheep and habitat for a wide
Volunteers form a bucket line to pass rocks to a needed area during a previous erosion-control project by the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) in the Garden of the Gods. RMFI plans more Garden preservation projects this year.
File photo, courtesy of Rocky Mountain Field Institute
array of other local wildlife,” according to the RMFI website. Preservation efforts will “focus on social trail closure and restoration, soil stabilization, gully and bare area restoration, seeding, and planting,” adds a press release from RMFI spokesperson Molly Mazel.
       This year, RMFI is also seeking volunteers to help restore mountainsides that were charred by the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire. “Plenty of work remains to stabilize these slopes that continue to pose flash flood risks to our community below,” the RMFI website states. “This spring RMFI will be working in the upper reaches of Waldo Canyon, building hillslope stabilization structures and assisting the revegetation process.”
       People interested in becoming crew leaders for trail work are invited to sign up for the fourth annual Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training April 17-19. The training is co-sponsored by RMFI, the City of Colorado Springs, Friends of the Peak and the Trails and Open Space Coalition.
       The following is a chronological listing (subject to change) of currently scheduled volunteer, Westside-area outdoor event days and their organizing groups. Advance signups are necessary in all cases. Contact information appears at the bottom of this article.
       - April 8, Garden, RMFI
       - April 10, Garden, RMFI
       - April 11, Garden, RMFI (currently listed as full)
       - April 12, Sand Creek Loop, Manitou CATS
       - April 16, Garden, RMFI
       - April 24, Garden, RMFI
       - April 25, Garden, RMFI (youth day/afternoon)
       - April 26, Garden, RMFI (youth day/morning & afternoon)
       - April 29, Waldo Canyon, RMFI
       - April 30, Waldo Canyon, RMFI
       - May 1, Waldo Canyon, RMFI
       - May 2, Garden, RMFI
       - May 3, Garden, RMFI
       - May 6, Garden, RMFI
       - May 9, Garden, RMFI (currently listed as full)
       - May 10, Sand Creek Loop, Manitou CATS
       - May 15, Waldo Canyon, RMFI
       - May 20, Waldo Canyon, RMFI
       - May 21, Waldo Canyon, RMFI
       - May 22, Waldo Canyon, RMFI
       - May 23, Garden, RMFI
       - May 24, Garden, RMFI
       - May 28, Garden, RMFI
       - May 30, Garden, RMFI
       - May 31, Garden, RMFI
       - June 13, Garden, RMFI
       - June 14, Garden, RMFI (youth day/afternoon)
       - June 20, Garden, RMFI
       - June 21, Garden, RMFI
       - June 27, Garden, RMFI
       - June 28, Garden, RMFI

       Contact info:
       - RMFI, 471-7736, molly@rmfi.org (including crew leader training). Website: rmfi.org.
       - Manitou Cats, 306-4698, coloradodombach@gmail.com. Website: manitoucats.com.
       Note: The volunteer Intemann Trail Committee, which built the five-mile Intemann Trail and traditionally scheduled monthly summer workdays, has disbanded after 27 years, handing maintenance responsibilities off to the government agencies (Manitou and Colorado Springs) that own or have agreements for the areas the trail passes through.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/31/15; Outdoors: General)

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