Rau: HTA Duckie Race, beavers create a pond near Tabernash | SkyHiNews.com

Rau: HTA Duckie Race, beavers create a pond near Tabernash

Diana Lynn Rau
Grand County Trails

Diana Lynn Rau

It's Duckie Time again!

On Saturday August 24, ducks will float down the Fraser River behind the Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA) office in Fraser starting at 11 a.m. For about 15 years the Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails (FVPT) has been holding their Annual Duckie Race each August as their only fundraiser. FVPT and HTA are merging and joining forces since their goals are similar – to benefit and support trails in both the Fraser Valley and now all of Grand County.

Money earned from the Duckie Race was used to put materials in the hands of adopt-a-trail volunteers maintaining and rebuilding trails in East Grand County or put signs and other educational pieces on those same trails. Now multi-use trails all over the county will benefit.

Look for your Duckie adoption papers in the mail or online at http://www.headwaterstrails.org. Please support the Duckie Race for HTA as you have in the past for FVPT. Many of the same prizes are offered again – ski day passes, golf passes, local restaurant gift certificates, merchandise and more! Send in your adoption form today before time runs out or get online at headwaterstrails.org, make a donation for the amount of ducks you want to "adopt" and send an email to HTA@headwaterstrails.org, giving name, address, phone and email, indicate amount of donation earmarked for Duckie race. You can even stop by the office in Fraser and drop off your donation. One Duckie- $5.00 Cluck of three ducks- $12.00 Flock of 12 ducks- $40.00.

You don't have to be present to win but many families make it their annual event and bring nets and poles to help the Duckies on their way. Come join the fun! Cheer on your own flock of Duckies. Join us after the race for lunch and refreshments.

Fraser to Granby Trail bridge project

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Beavers are winning on the Fraser to Granby Trail climbing from Tabernash toward the Churches on US Highway 40 Red Dirt Hill. Trail users are getting very wet feet as the trail crosses the stream, even on a bicycle so the need for the proposed new bridge is becoming more apparent. Above the trail crossing, the beavers finished a dam started by humans over 50 years ago but since breached. The resulting pond is about a quarter mile long and continues to grow. It now has at least three different beaver lodges and a myriad of birds and other aquatic wildlife. Below the trail crossing a series of about five levels of dams have created a beaver haven, again with several beaver lodges and even more wildlife drawn to this perfect wetland habitat. With that number of animals, it seems impossible to get rid of them so we are attempting to bridge the area and create a type of sanctuary where an educational center can explain these incredible animals and the other wildlife brought to the wetland area; all right next to the highway easily visible to everyone.

Just imagine my surprise and awe when this week I spotted a huge healthy Blue Heron sitting contentedly atop the biggest beaver lodge in the lower ponds. He looked very happy in his new home.

As the keeper of the Fraser to Granby Trail, HTA and trail adopters Diana Lynn and Charlie Rau are joining forces with Rotary Club of Winter Park/Fraser Valley and FVPT to get work started. This is a big project on an important corridor trail that can also create an important asset to this area. We need more partners or sponsors. Please do your part to make sure this work continues. We will need services, we will need materials, and we will need volunteers – just as when we started the Fraser to Granby Trail close to 15 years ago. Please contact me at 970-887-0547 or HTA at 970-1013 if you can help us with this important project and become a part of history.

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