ALAMOSA — A community volunteer event will be held on Saturday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Alamosa Riparian Park, 400 Lakewood Drive. As part of river restoration efforts at the park, volunteers are needed to plant native trees, shrubs, and grasses that will help stabilize streambanks, provide habitat for wildlife, improve water quality, and enhance the natural beauty of the Rio Grande and trails.
Led by local non-profit the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project (RGHRP), the event is being organized with help from the City of Alamosa, Colorado State Forest Service, and Rio Grande Water Conservation and Education Initiative. Funding for the event and restoration efforts has been generously provided by San Luis Valley Health, American Forests, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Colorado Water Conservation Board.
Opened by the City in 2019, the Alamosa Riparian Park features great public trails for walking, running, and biking along the Rio Grande. The City of Alamosa partnered with the RGHRP to restore several degraded sections of the Rio Grande on the park in order to improve fish and wildlife habitat and enhance recreation opportunities. Construction on the river restoration project began last fall and continued this spring. Restoration included reshaping the streambanks and river channel, building rock and root wad stabilization and fish habitat structures, and planting willow transplants.
The river restoration project connects to past RGHRP projects, which collectively have improved over 5 miles of streambank upstream of Alamosa, resulting in reduced erosion, improved water quality and wildlife habitat, and an overall better functioning river.
To finish this restoration project, volunteers are needed to help revegetate the site with a variety of tree, shrubs, and grass species. During the volunteer event, COVID procedures will be followed, including social distancing when possible and sanitation. Snacks and water will also be provided. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to sign up prior to the event to ensure there are enough tools for everyone. Learn more about the event and sign up by visiting the RGHRP’s website, www.riograndeheadwaters.org.