South Boulder Creek Trail
The South Boulder Creek Trail was heavily impacted by the September 2013 floods. This is a high-use trail wrapping around the south-east portion of Boulder. It serves numerous user groups, including runners, walkers, hikers, people with disabilities, nature enthusiasts and equestrian users. Most of the surface material (crusher fines and road base) was washed away when South Boulder Creek flooded. A MHYC crew will work on re-surfacing portions of the trail with crusher fines. The outcome will be a sustainable trail that is brought back to accessibility standards for disabled trail users and usable by a wide variety of user groups. MHYC Corpsmembers participating on the project are eligible for a $1,468 AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of 450 hours of service.
A MHYC crew will perform critical flood relief work on Mesa and Skunk Canyon Trails for City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. The Mesa Trail is a key north-south trail connecting Chautauqua Meadow to the South Mesa Trailhead. This trail was heavily impacted by the September 2013 floods. Project work will include tread grading and finish work, tread paving with stone, moving rock materials, removal of structures (timber steps and fence), trail excavation and installation of riser steps. In addition, Skunk Canyon Trail provides key access from western Boulder neighborhoods and the NCAR area up to Mesa Trail and other trails leading towards the Boulder Flatirons. A MHYC crew will also obliterate an old flood-damaged trail (that has been re-routed) via check dams, grading, and contour restoration. These trails serve many user groups, including runners, walkers, hikers, nature enthusiasts and equestrian users. The South Mesa Trailhead is identified as being popular with people using wheelchairs as well.
Beaver Creek Fire Restoration
In the summer of 2013, the Beaver Creek fire burned over 114,000 acres in the Wood River Valley. Along with the immense devastation and displacement, many of the beloved recreation resources went along with it including the new Osberg Ridge 75 mile cross-country mountain bike trail. The fire has had a huge impact on quality of life and economy of the Wood River Valley and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The Beaver Creek fire comes at a time when area businesses were just starting to feel like they were getting a leg up after the Castle Rock fire. Northwest Youth Corps crews in partnership with the Ketchum Ranger District will be working in the area all summer completing buck-out and tread reconstruction to provide public access to these world renowned recreation resources. 40 young people between the ages of 16 and 19 will participate in the project over the course of the summer.
Colorado Flood Recovery
Rocky Mountain National Park and Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests
Rocky Mountain Conservancy’s Conservation Corps has received additional funding from the National Forest Foundation and generous donors to support additional crews working on flood recovery projects in Rocky Mountain National Park and throughout the Boulder and Canyon Lakes Ranger Districts of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests. This support will involve 30 crew members working alongside the USDA Forest Service and National Park Service to restore, rebuild, and reopen trails and recreational areas damaged or destroyed by the floods during September 2013 that affected Colorado’s Front Range. The five six-member crews will complete at least 9,600 total hours of conservation work which will:
• Reopen areas to safe recreational use.
• Mitigate further damage to communities prone to flooding.
• Provide valuable on-the-job training, work experience, and networking in the field of natural resource management for crew members.
• Connect youth to the land through educational programming.
• Further the protection of America’s protected landscapes.
This project is the continuation of the recovery work that was begun in New York City’s Gateway NRA following the impact of Superstorm Sandy. Youth participants will complete coastal recovery and resiliency projects at multiple sites. Most of the participants have had direct and personal impact by the storm so participating in the recovery work is very meaningful to them. Project work includes, debris removal, restoration projects, fencing and other mitigation work and planting.
Emergency Response Teams
Texas Gulf Coast
The Texas Conservation Corps has trained 30 corpsmembers in an exciting partnership between Gulf Coast region land management agencies, state emergency management officials and the corps program. Corps members stand ready to respond to regional disaster situations while they are currently working on habitat restoration and hazard fuel management projects up and down the coast including Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Big Thicket National Preserve, Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park and Goose Island State Park. This past winter, Corps members spent over a month cross-training in disaster response and conservation skills. When the next disaster strikes, the teams are ready within 24 hours to integrate into the emergency management operation’s Incident Command System structure. The teams disaster response skills include hazardous debris removal, home repair, shelter management and a specialization in volunteer management in a disaster zone.