Fall, 2012: The Restoration Club was formed by two GES students seeking to foster a deeper relationship between society and nature through actions that work to heal the land, plants, waters and our souls.
October, 2012: The club promoted trail work in support of co-founder Kyle Rodman's honor's thesis. Visual trail delineations, rock cairns and rock steps were installed. These actions will help keep visitors on a single trail, prevading widespread degredation.
January, 2013: The club tabled next to the Green Action Fund and began fostering ways to have a bigger impact on campus. Seen here: Co-founder Kyle Rodman and former GAF Chair and Vice Chair, Nathanael Mooberry and Drew Johnson.
Sometime in between then: The club leaders met with Vice Chancellor Susan Szpyrka, faculty, rec center and risk management to discuss the incorporation of the bluffs trail system into the campus Master Plan.
A student research project for a Conservation and Public Lands course investigated the decommissioned road going up the bluffs from Alpine Village and found serious erosional and drainage issues. To begin addressing this issue, the students met again with the Vice Chancellors to discuss the trail future and how the Restoration Club could help.
Integrating their knowledge from working with a local land restoration organization with their classroom and field observations, the students devised a plan to begin restoration on the bluffs. They then arranged meetings with Faculty and Facilities to discuss the potential project techniques and sites.
Spring, 2012: The club requested funds from the Green Action Fund for materials to help restore vegetation to denuded areas on the bluffs. This vegetation would prevent soil loss and erosion, protecting the Bluffs ecosystem and saving Outdoor Services from removing sediment loads in our streets and parking areas. This project was an experiment of multiple methods to test for effectiveness for future projects in our local region.
Materials were purchased and a sign was made! A section up the trail from the Campus Services building was identified for treatment.
A section of the bluffs was chosen for 3 different treatment: soil amendments and grass seed planting, pine transplants and erosion control socks.
(left) Soil was acquired from C&C stone and delivered here by the project proposers. (middle) Volunteers then carried the dirt up the trail to it's resting place. (right) Soil ammendments, including compost and topsoil, was systematically made to determine the effectiveness of different treatments.
(left) Native Blue Gramma and Buffalo Grass seed was spread over amended and unamended soils. This area was then covered with erosion control matting made of aspen bark. (middle) Biodegradable stakes were hammered into the matting o help keep it in place. (Right) Dirt covered the edges of the matting to prevent deer from picking it up to get the seed and branches were spread over the matting to create microclimates forthe grasses to grow.
Step one complete!
5 Ponderosa transplants, graciously acquired by UCCS Outdoor Services, were planted. A birm was shaped on the downhill slope from the transplant and reinforced with rock.
Lastly, three erosion control socks, made of compost sourced locally, were installed in a drainage. These socks are intended to slow the flow of water, thereby preventing further erosion.
The two supervisors for the day approved!
Multiple visits to the site has occured in the time since restoration. For a full preliminary report on the effectiveness of the projct.