Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Project Day: River Bluffs Open Space Riparian Restoration 3/30/13

My fantastic crew!
The River Bluffs Open Space was in need of some help and Trailcology was there to lend a hand.
Trailcology aided Larimer County in the project by providing crew leader and volunteer assistance.  The Trailcology crew was responsible for planting 15 container stock shrubs and roughly a dozen bare-root wild roses.  Additionally, our crew helped plant one of three ball-and-burlap cottonwoods.  During the course of the project, volunteers planted over 200 shrubs and 3 large cottonwoods.

As I detailed in an earlier post, the River Bluffs site was in need of some riparian improvements.  Riparian areas are lands that are influenced by flowing water.  The increased availability of water allows different plants, such as willows and cottonwoods, to grow along the banks or in the channel of the water body.  The water-loving vegetation along the banks provides stability during times of high flows, improved wildlife habitat, and shading effects, among other benefits.

It was a real pleasure to work with the Larimer County folks and all of the wonderful volunteers who donated their valuable time on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  I am excited to watch the progress and success of the vegetation that we planted.  Hopefully the plants will be beneficial to the wildlife in the very near future!

Enjoy the photos taken by Jeff and Nick Andersen of Jeff Andersen Photography, Fort Collins, CO!

Happy Trails!

Crew introductions, project goals, and the safety talk are very important!

I really enjoy listening to everyone during the introductions!

Of course you have to have a warm-up stretch at the start of the day!

Demonstrating how to remove a container plant from its container

Pull from the base of the shrub to prevent limb breakage

Make a little mound at the bottom of the hole

Add a few inches of soil at first
Rough up the edges to allow the roots to spread out in the fill soil
Thoroughly water the fill soil and container material
Now we just need some mulch on top of the bare soil

Jon working hard!

It was quite a hole that we dug for the cottonwood!

This cottonwood was not exactly lightweight...

We had to maneuver around shrubs that had been planted already...

Final alignment before rolling down the hill into it's final home!

It takes teamwork to get these in the ground!

It's in!!!

Supports and fencing

Introducing Trailcology's First Intern - Jonathan Cass!

I was fortunate enough to work with the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources in the Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU to develop an internship opportunity for Natural Resources Recreation & Tourism majors.  The NRRT major has an internship requirement to help give students real world experience and hopefully a leg-up on other job candidates.  It is highly unlikely that I will ever be able to donate millions of dollars to the Warner College of Natural Resources - like Ed Warner was able to do - but I realized that I am able to give back to the College by offering experience and training to students through an internship program.

Jonathan was the first student to respond to my internship announcement and he has proven to be genuine, sincere, and excited to work with Trailcology.  I asked Jonathan to write up a short bio, so without further ado I will let Jonathan introduce himself:

Hey everybody, my name is Jon Cass and I’ll be the new Trailcology Intern for the
spring and summer. I spent the first half of my life living in the cold, dreary abyss of
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where my recreational opportunities were limited to five
days a season on the icy slopes of Seven Springs Resort and the occasional mountain
biking trip to the muddy woods of West Virginia. When I was ten, my parents made
a life changing decision and decided to drag my sister and I to Denver, where I
grew up and fell in love with Colorado. I attended East High School in Denver and
have spent the last 4 years at Colorado State, working towards a bachelor’s degree
in Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism with a minor in Global Environmental
Sustainability. Over my college career I’ve fallen in love with Fort Collins and the
incredible community in northern Colorado. Throughout the years I’ve come to
realize the strength of the people who call Fort Collins home through my work with
Bohemian Companies at NewWestFest and various alumni organizations at CSU. I’m
extremely passionate about skiing, music and the outdoors and will be providing
with you plenty of exciting blog posts in the coming months. I can’t wait to get out
on the trail with all of you this summer helping to spread the incredible and aspiring
mission of Trailcology!

Jon is a great guy who is eager to learn and I'm really excited to have him as part of my team for the summer.  Jon will be providing some very interesting blog posts during his internship so keep checking back over the next several months for his posts.  Social media, such as Facebook, has become an integral part of how we communicate with people, Jon will also be helping to update the Trailcology Facebook page.  Additionally, I have asked Jon to work on a "signature project" that he will take ownership of that will add to the list of events for Trailcology.  He has a pretty good idea of what he wants to do so I'm excited to see how it develops this summer.  Jon has been very eager to help on all of the volunteer projects and I hope to get him in a Crew Leader training program so that he can start to lead crews of volunteers on his own.

Next time your out on a project with Trailcology be sure to say hello to Jon!

Happy Trails!