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Community Bands Together To Improve Our Lands

IMMINENT DESTRUCTION AND RESCUE - Ingenious use of resources continues to help Lyons recover

Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, with help from their long time community collaborator, Boulder Beer, organized a volunteer Emergency Willow Harvest to make good use of native willow plants which were being removed as part of the CDOT Highway 36 construction project. Volunteers sprang into action salvaging mature native coyote willow plants by clipping and bundling 1200 willow poles on Monday. The poles will be planted by 120 volunteers in Lyons along St. Vrain Creek on April 11 as part of the continuing flood restoration efforts.

In order to keep those plants alive until the project without having them sprout roots, Boulder Beer has offered to house the buckets of living willow poles in their cold storage area.

Morgan Crowley, WRV Restoration Projects Coordinator, organized the last-minute rescue of these important native plants. “Without a place to store them and keep them from sprouting roots, we wouldn’t have plant materials for that huge project in Lyons. Boulder Beer has been really generous in their partnership with us, and this is just one more way they’re helping the local stewardship community. They’re doing a real service by caring for those plants until the project.”

The major construction project along highway 36 between Boulder and Denver has necessitated the removal of a wetland area. A replacement wetland is being created on property owned by Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks north of Valmont and East of 55th in Boulder. In order to create a pristine native landscape at the new site, crews are removing concrete (the site was previous a dumping ground for construction materials) and all vegetation in that area to allow for lowering of the grade and reaching the water table. The salvaged native willows came from that property. Willows will be restored to that area after the heavy equipment work is finished. Wetlands are a crucial habitat for migratory birds, natural water filtering of silt and toxins, and important to local wildlife.

This is a great example of community banding together to improve our lands: local government working with a local non-profit, working with a local business to improve local habitat.

The bundles of native coyote willows will likely be moved next week to Lyons for staging of the big project on April 11. 120 volunteers will plant these and other native species to restore the habitat on the stream bank of St. Vrain Creek.

Click here to check out some additional photos.

More information:

WRV – Morgan Crowley – morgan@wlrv.org 303-543-1411 ext #3

Boulder Beer – Lindey Miller – lmiller@boulderbeer.com 303-444-8448 ext #14.