Volunteers prep for Sept. 12 cleanup day on Fraser River
One of my favorite scenes in Grand County is volunteers walking our roads’ ditches to keep them free of trash.
Just like our roads, our rivers also become a depository for carelessly discarded garbage. To address this, the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited has been walking Grand County’s rivers and streams since 2004 to help keep our precious waterways clear of improperly disposed of items.
In our first cleanup on the Fraser River, we filled a couple of pickup trucks with items like a Model A car frame, stove pipe, real estate signs, bed springs and vintage beer cans. We even discovered which section of stream was preferred by Coors drinkers vs. Bud drinkers.
Anyone volunteering to help pick trash out of our roads’ ditches will also tell you that single use plastic bags are the bane of a pristine environment. In rivers, they tend to sink to the bottom where they wrap around rocks or get deposited in the willows during high flows.
These days river cleanup involves filling a half dozen plastic garbage bags in a morning’s work. Thanks to our locals’ conservation attitude, all we find is the ever-present single use plastic bag, a minimal number of beer cans and plastic bottles and debris from high flows.
Yet, it is important to stay on top of removing these items. That is why the Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited is holding another river cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 12.
People of all ages can participate in this socially distanced outdoors activity, and we are always looking for new faces to get involved with the health of our rivers. If you are looking for a COVID safe outdoor activity, this might be for you.
We are meeting at the pavilion at the Lions Ponds in Fraser at 9 a.m. on Sept. 12. Masks will be worn by all participants during orientation. After that, we will break up into small groups and practice social distancing while improving our environment.
Those who own waders will work in the river while those in hiking boots will clean up the willows on either side of the river. We will gather again at noon at the pavilion to deposit the treasures that we found and receive a free lunch as well as “Save the Fraser River” bumper stickers.
If you are interested in participating, you can sign up by going to our website, http://www.coheadwaters.org, and leaving your information on our volunteer sheet.
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US Forest Service officials have closed Willow Creek Reservoir in Grand County because of a potential blue-green algae bloom.