Stewardship of open space lands has been deemed an “essential service” during the pandemic. Volunteer groups may participate in projects, with some adaptations, which include: allowing only groups of nine or less, requiring volunteers to drive to the project site in separate vehicles if not part of the same household, and requiring volunteers to wear masks. We understand that because of the constraints of COVID-19, many of our partner businesses and organizations are not able to participate in projects.
Impressively though, some partners still managed to organize small groups to participate in stewardship projects caring for our county trails and historic buildings, constructing fence, collecting seed, and monitoring wildlife cameras. Groups include Altona Middle School, Longs Peak Middle School, Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (BMA), Boulder High School Mountain Bike Team, CEMEX, Community United Church of Christ, Corden Pharma, KBI Bio Pharma, and Tetra Tech.
Thanks to our partner teachers from Longs Peak Middle School and Altona Middle School for continuing to monitor wildlife cameras and share photos and observations with students. We look forward to when we can re-engage students in a more active way.
BMA has volunteered with the county since pre-Partnership Program days, circa 2009. In 2020, it hosted seven volunteer days at Heil Valley Ranch (HVR), contributing nearly 200 volunteer hours. A fall project completed a new trail near Eldora. The Boulder High School Mountain Bike Team, a partner since 2018, participated in five projects at HVR throughout the summer, contributing more than 100 volunteer hours. Both organizations accomplished important maintenance and rock restoration trail work.
Welcome New Partners
We are excited to welcome CEMEX as a new partner in 2020! CEMEX employees participated in their first volunteer project this summer, removing vegetation and clearing drainage ditches to prevent erosion from heavy rainfall.
In August, our long-time partner since 2009, Corden Pharma, graciously applied stain to restrooms at Caribou Ranch Open Space—mundane, yet important work.
Members from the Community United Church of Christ, a partner since 2016, spent a peaceful spring morning in the outdoors collecting annual blue flax seed at the Beech property, and enjoyed another seed collection experience in the fall. Native seed collected from county properties is used to restore other county lands.
Employees from KBI-Bio Pharma, a partner since 2017, participated in an impressive three trail projects at Hall Ranch.
Tetra Tech, a partner since 2014, built a fence at the Picture Rock trailhead at HVR to prevent trespassing onto an area of the property that is closed to the public.
Typically, our partners play an instrumental role in helping to achieve the important goals of our forestry operations. However, because forestry work sites are in remote locations and projects involve shuttling volunteers in vans, the county’s COVID-19 safety guidelines did not allow these projects. We look forward to resuming forestry work once it is safe to do so.
The department’s talented volunteer coordinators are responsible for organizing this work. The team includes Carrie Cimo, Amanda Hatfield, Ari Addes, and Shane Milne, along with seasonal employees. Even during this incredibly demanding time, our coordinators provided positive experiences for volunteers. Sadly, after four excellent years of service, Ari Addes has moved on to new ventures.
We look forward to projects that will again involve our 50 partner organizations in gratifying and crucial stewardship work!