Local students ditch their screens, make commitment to help keep waters clean | SkyHiNews.com

Local students ditch their screens, make commitment to help keep waters clean

Middle Park High School students and Interact Club members Katelyn Cimino, Emma Belew-Ladue and Bowen Gray present the Adopt-a-Stream proposal to the Granby Board of Trustees last week.
Courtesy / Geoff Elliott |

Colorado’s highways have been kept clean for years in part through the Adopt-a-Highway program, but now a group of local high school students are taking the concept and applying it to local bodies of water.

Middle Park High School’s Interact Club, a high school service club focused on helping people and the environment, received approval from the Granby Board of Trustees last week to implement a new Adopt-a-Stream program, permitting the adoption of Smith Creek, located on the Shorefox property north of Granby.

The club’s students, all 30 of them, will plant willow trees along a 400 foot section of the stream and have made a commitment to picking up trash and litter around the area multiple times per year.

Last week’s presentation to the Granby Board was conducted by three Interact Club members including Katelyn Cimino, the club’s co-president, Emma Belew-Ladue, club secretary, and Bowen Gray.

Granby Parks Supervisor Peter Butrymovich and Geoff Elliott, a Grand Lake Rotary Club member, initially approached the Interact Club with the idea of establishing an Adopt-a-Stream program.

“Smith Creek was brought to our attention last year by Peter and Geoff, who wanted us to become more involved in the watershed here in Grand County,” Cimino said. “We became interested in possible renovation of the stream.”

The club plans to cut and plant willows in May before reporting on the streams programs in June, according to Cimino, then return in the fall to update information about the new program while continuing their restoration and improvement efforts.

Along with approval from the Granby board, which was required for the program to move forward, the Interact Club also received a $250 donation from the Grand Lake Rotary for the project.

“We hope to include the Granby and Winter Park-Fraser Rotary clubs as well,” Cimino said. “Many people have also helped us with our planning and official aspects of the project, including water scientists Geoff Elliott and Tiffany Gatesman.”

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