RMFI sets fall trail, drainage projects in Garden of Gods

       Continued trail and drainage improvements will be the focus of work this fall by volunteers with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) in the Garden of the Gods.
       The non-profit agency will lead off its schedule Saturday, Sept. 15 “with a big day sponsored by REI and partnering with the Trails and Open Space coalition and Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates,” a press release states. “ We'll be working this fall on restoration in the Central Garden area, the Spring Canyon area and the Upper Loop Trail.”
       Here are RMGI's descriptions of the planned work in each of those areas:
       “CENTRAL GARDEN RESTORATION: We will be closing and restoring social trails and gullies in the Central Garden Area that are now protected by a split rail fence. This involves decompacting the soil, spreading seed and organic fertilizer and laying erosion control matting. Participants will be filling and carrying buckets of dirt, swinging picks, shoveling dirt, carrying rocks, etc.”
       “UPPER LOOP TRAIL RECONSTRUCTION: This popular natural surface trail in the Central Area is badly eroded. To improve the trail, we will construct timber steps and build drains and retaining walls with small groups of volunteers. Participants will be sawing and carrying wood timbers, shoveling dirt, hammering nails, swinging picks, etc. We would especially like volunteers who can commit to working several of these workdays. We also prefer volunteers who have some carpentry or trail construction experience, though it is not madatory.”
       “SPRING CANYON RESTORATION: We will be stabilizing erosion gullies in this popular picnic area. Help us mitigate sediment loading into Fountain Creek by stabilizing headcuts and revegetating eroded areas that feed into the ephermal drainage running through the area. This is important work that will protect native vegetation.”
       There will be 14 Garden workdays in all, with two of them (Oct. 6 and Nov. 4) also earmarked as half-day “youth days” for middle and high school students. The full list of workdays is Sept. 15,16, 29 and 30; Oct. 6, 7. 13, 14, 20 and 28; and Nov. 3, 4, 10 and 11.
       Advance registration by volunteers is required for all workdays. For more information or to sign up, call Liz Nichol at 471-7736 or email rmfi@rmfi.org.

Westside Pioneer/press release