Friday, July 19, 2013

Boulder Greenways Weeding on Wheels-Teasel-7/18

Trailcology joined Wildlands Restoration Volunteers and Boulder Greenways thursday evening for a volunteer project along the South Boulder Creek Bike Path. The aim of this project is to eradicate invasive teasel ( (Dipsacus spp.) that is rapidly invading natural areas in Boulder and along the Front Range and displacing native plant populations . Teasel is a biennial plant native to Europe but has quickly spread across the United States and has been classified in Colorado as a Noxious Weed List B Species. According to the Colorado Weed Management Agency, List B includes plants whose continued spread should be stopped and local management agencies are required to implement plans for the eradication of this non-native species. Unfortunately, it thrives in sunny, disturbed areas such as flood plains and along the sides of creeks and irrigation ditches. Our project site on the east side of Boulder has been plagued by both common and cutleaf teasel in the past few years. This is the second year WLRV and Boulder Greenways have worked in this area are there are already visible signs of native plant life returning to this important wildlife corridor. It was pretty cool to join this project and help get rid of this ugly alienesque plant thats invading our state.

Common Teasel
Cutleaf Teasel

Although dark skies threatened rain throughout the evening, our crew was able to stay dry and bushwhack our way along this heavily overgrown section of South Boulder Creek. The method for getting rid of the teasel included: snipping below the top to prevent seeding and then cutting the stalk off as close to the ground as possible. If the teasel was in the flowering stage we cut and bagged the flowers to prevent the spread of the weed.  Although this was simple work, it still felt like a treasure hunt as we searched for teasel hiding in the brush.  We made several passes along the riverbank before concluding for the evening.  It was great to see so much support for this project. 


"Greenways are ‘the paths to the future’ as they link people to the outdoors. They 
meet an ever growing need, a need to leave the hectic city (if only for a moment) 
and to experience earth beneath your feet and fresh air in your lungs—to feel life 
and to feel alive. "
-Victoria Louge- Backpacking in the '90s-1995

Not the most scenic section of trail but still important.

We managed to avoid the rain even with  these ominous clouds in the background

Gathering the crew

Ready to cut down the teasel! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hermit Park Update 7/15

Back on April 6th, Trailcology went to work remediating and reseeding slash burn scars in Hermit Park Open Space outside Estes Park. The combination gardening and ecological restoration day was one of our most successful projects to date. Roughly 75 slash piles were addressed by the entire volunteer crew.  Today on a cloudy, cool and quiet monday I visited Hermit again to observe our work several months later. The progress is fantastic. Can't wait to return for another project here. The park was so empty and peaceful today. 

Happy Trails!


The monsoon moves in on cue

Some areas exhibit quite a bit of growth

other sites still need additional time and work

Lots of memories from this multi-scar zone

our seeding is paying off

More slash piles were burned in the spring 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lory State Park: Bridge Reconstruction 7/6/13

Friends of Lory, volunteers and Trailcology continued the effort to rebuild bridges following the Galena Fire in early March. On Saturday, dedicated volunteers completed 75 percent of bridge 8 on the East Valley Trail leaving only bridges 7,9,10 still unfinished. Together we poured concrete to reinforce the existing beams and moved the heavy timber into place over the creek bed.  The reviews of the recently completed bridges are flying in from riders, equestrian users and trail runners who all say these spans are some of the best they have ever seen!  The remaining projects are some of the more challenging tasks as the bridge rebuild moves ahead into phase 2. There are plenty more volunteer days scheduled throughout July.

Sign up here:

Lory State Park Bridge Rebuild Crew Sign Up

View the project and closure map: West Valley Trail has reopened!

Lory State Park Map

Enjoy the photos!


"So much work remains to be done in this unfinished and imperfect world that 
none of us can justify standing on the sidelines. Especially in a society like ours, 
volunteering is an expression of democracy in its purest form. For the volunteer is 
a participant, not a looker-on, and participation is the democratic process."

Eunice Kennedy Shriver
President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors, 
Report and Recommendations to the President of the United States, 1986

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado: Continental Divide Trail Construction, Clear Creek Reservoir, 7/28-7/30

Trailcology made a stop on the Continental Divide Trail this past weekend for 2 days of trail restoration and rerouting near the historic mining town of Winfield between Leadville and Buena Vista. Together the Continental Divide Trail System runs 3,100 miles between Canada and Mexico. It’s estimated that the trail is 70 % complete and only about 24 people per year attempt to complete the entire route. In conjunction with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) and the U.S Forest Service there is an ongoing effort to move this Colorado section of the trail further away from the 4x4 road and clear it of debris for safer access. Ultimately, the goal is to connect with the extremely popular Lake Ann Trail located in the middle of the towering Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. This is one of the more scenic areas I’ve had the opportunity to visit and there are an endless array of climbing opportunities in the area including, Missouri Mountain, Huron Peak and La Plata Peak, three of the smaller 14ers in the state.  The area is extremely popular with campers and backpackers so it’s become an urgent necessity to repair and clean up the trail.  This is one of 9 weekends that VOC will spend in this area over the summer and more volunteers are definitely needed.

                Over the weekend our group attacked and graded more than 500 feet of trail above Winfield and built a lengthy addition to the rock ‘turnpike’ that crosses over the wetlands at the base of Granite Mountain and the Three Apostles.  On Saturday, our crew mostly focused on carving the upslope of the trail to a 45 degree angle to allow for good water flow and developing a solid ‘critical edge’ on the downslope of the trail. We also removed boulders and stacked and sorted them according to size for construction of the ‘turnpike’.  Because there was an old mining road adjacent to the new section of trail, we used the debris from our excavation to cover up the road and keep people on the trail. After a long day of work we returned to the campsite for cold beer and a delicious dinner of biscuits, chicken stroganoff and red velvet cake.  Since the fire ban prevented us from partaking in the main event of any good group camp-out, most people chose to retire to their tents early after a long day of work.

                Sunday morning, we arrived at the worksite with a slightly smaller crew after a few volunteers departed the night before. We quickly got to work continuing the ‘turnpike ‘and cleaning up the trail from yesterday’s work.  Our focus was on continuing the rockwork and covering a washed out portion of trail above where we worked the day before. This stage of the project was my first experience using a rock sling and bars to haul boulders and I have to say it was extremely rewarding work.  Although it took us 10-20 minutes each time to get the rocks up from the lower portion of the trail we made the process more enjoyable with plenty of lively and encouraging conversation.  Other volunteers worked to chip larger rocks and prepare the upper sections of trail for future work. When we ended on Sunday afternoon it was amazing to see the progress that was made over the weekend. I can't wait to get up here again and see the finished product that is years in the making.

Enjoy the Photo Gallery:
Happy Trails!


"A first-rate trails system can only be created by people."
President's Commission on Americans Outdoors


Americans and the Outdoors