We had an amazing volunteer turn out in 2011. 535 amazing volunteers put in 1,928 hours at the Edwards restoration. These dedicated volunteers planted 235 trees, 2,450 willows, and 310 shrubs. They cleaned or installed 1,000 beaver cages and built 154 willow wattles. 15,000 plants were watered over the summer and 36 tires were removed. ERWC partnered with Vail Resorts Echo to bring 163 Vail employees out to the river to plant over 500 trees in one morning. Overall, it was a great volunteer year and we are very thankful for all of our incredible volunteers. See you in 2012!
The Eagle River Watershed Council continued to coordinate water quality monitoring and data analysis efforts in 2011. Seth Mason was hired in the fall of 2011 as the new Water Programs Director. The ERWC manages a partnership which includes USGS, the US Forest Service, the Colorado Dep’t. of Wildlife, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, local towns and the County. Data collectors meet to figure out what we need to know about the health of our rivers, how to obtain that information and how to interpret the data we collect. Threats to our waters include heavy metals from the Eagle Mine Superfund site, traction sand migrating off W. Vail Pass into Black Gore Creek, stormwater and urban runoff and nutrient loading.
Keep it Clean!
Community Pride is the theme of ERWC’s best known events— the Eagle River Clean Up and the Community Pride Highway Clean Up. You know…the orange bags along the highway, 1100 volunteers, 43 tons of trash removed from 121 miles of highway and 59 miles of river. As usual, dedicated teams rose to the occasion and the orange bags piled up along the highways—to be carried off by event partner CDOT. The River Clean Up enjoyed sun and warm temperatures, keeping volunteers long into the afternoon at the thank you party at the Broken Arrow in Arrowhead. Vail Resorts Echo was Presenting Sponsor of both events and Arrowhead Alpine Club’s volunteers prepared and served the BBQ lunches. Mark Saturday, April 28th, and Saturday, September 8th, on your calendar so you can join us for 2012’s events! Who knows what treasures you might find?!
Research and Education
2011 was a busy year at the Watershed Council! ERWC provided 468 hours of technical assistance to our partners. Our River Watch volunteers Susan Pollack, Timm Paxson, and Keith Kepler dedicated 144 hours to water quality testing. 1,200 hours were spent on water quality monitoring, data collection, and assessment. 1,250 hours were spent updating the 1996 Watershed Plan. Staff and board members dedicated 1,975 hours to direct education and reached 348 students and teachers. Water Wise Wednesdays continued to be a big hit in the community, drawing in 432 attendees.
ERWC Finances at a Glance