Purgatoire Watershed Partnership

File photo / The Chronicle-News

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership is inviting the community to take part in a free event that will feature educational speakers and an opportunity to help clean up the river as part of the 2020 Purgatoire River Annual Fall Cleanup being held Saturday, Oct. 3 from 9:30 a.m. to Noon.

Registration starts at 9 a.m. at the Noah’s Ark Shelter dirt parking lot (behind Phil Long Toyota of Trinidad), where attendees can pick up snacks, a gift bag and all river cleanup supplies.

Educational speakers will begin at 9:30 a.m. with an introduction from Julie Knudson of the Purgatoire Watershed Partnership, followed by Frank Millinazzo talking about “The Irrigator’s Perspective.” Frank Milinazzo is a local irrigator and headgate operator for the Picketwire, Baca, and El Moro Ditches and is a ditch rider for the Picketwire Ditch.

Other speakers will include Howard Lackey of Trout Unlimited talking about “The Fish Perspective,” as well as others providing updates on exciting new progress along the river related to efforts associated with the City of Trinidad and local business groups.

Community members are encouraged to show up to the event on their own or with friends or family. A new feature for this year’s event is that attendees will be required to conduct the river cleanup portion of the event in small socially-distanced groups (no more than five people in a group). As such, a new “Community Table” was created for cleanup groups this year for all attendees that show up to the event on their own and who would like to be grouped up with other like-minded attendees to enjoy the day. All information and options will be provided to attendees at time of registration.

In order to keep community members safe and ensure that community events like this can continue to be held, all attendees are asked to please have patience and be willing to follow local and state COVID-19 compliant guidelines that will be provided and enforced at the event. All attendees are reminded that masks are required by state mandate and susceptible populations are strongly recommended to refrain from participating in this event. Please do not attend this event if you are sick, exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.

Attendees only need to bring a mask and water shoes if they want to get in the river to clean up trash (although there is plenty of work on dry land) All other supplies will be provided.

For more information contact Julie Knudson of the Purgatoire Watershed Partnership at 970-420-1915 or jknudson@purgatoirepartners.org.

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