Ameri Corp

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership completed its project to remove invasive brush along the Riverwalk in Trinidad on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The project focused on improving river health by clearing invasive woody species from the Purgatoire riverbank.

“Removing woody invasive trees and shrubs from along the river such as Tamarisks, Siberian Elms and Russian Olives has multiple benefits. Aggressive species like these typically push out native vegetation, resulting in very dense stands of invasive trees along the river that can block river flows and potentially cause flooding and property damage,” said Julie Knudson of the Purgatoire Watershed Partnership.

The project was financed through a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) stewardship grant with matching funds from local partners.

The partnership along with volunteers, worked with the Mile High Youth Corps to remove half a mile of invasive trees and shrubs.

Knudson said, “The City of Trinidad continues to be a really important partner in this work. For this project, city employees worked side by side with Youth Corps members and together with Purgatoire Watershed Partnership and Trout Unlimited provided educational training for the crew.”

The project helped to improve river access, river views, public safety and comfort levels by clearing hiding places and illegal camping spots along the Riverwalk.

“It made it look a lot more urban and friendly for people to go down with their family or friends and go fishing and hangout by the river,” said Grace Kissinger a co-crew leader for the Mile High Youth Corps team.

The project hopes to encourage locals to utilize the Purgatoire River as a local outdoor recreation resource, for fishing and picnics within Trinidad city limits.

“It provides a cool place for people to be able to experience the outdoors who normally would not be able to just because it is right off the Riverwalk,” said Kissinger.

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership will continue to increase its efforts to maintain the Purgatoire River, clearing nuisance vegetation and trash to improve river health.

The partnership announced the Mile High Youth Corps plans to return in 2021 to continue the work of clearing the Purgatoire riverbanks.

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