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Thanks to Mitchell Creek sandbaggers

Willa Holgate

Dear Editor,On behalf of Colorado Big Country Resources Conservation and Development, a regional volunteer conservation nonprofit, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that works with private land owners, I want to offer a great big thank-you to the many, many volunteers who helped out with the sandbagging effort to protect the homes in the Mitchell Creek drainage area.In addition to annihilating several homes, the Coal Seam Fire destroyed ground-holding vegetation and the infiltration properties of the soil. This makes the homes that escaped the initial fire at risk yet again of flooding and debris flow when the rains come.On Tuesday and Wednesday, July 2 and 3, we had in excess of 40 volunteers show up in West Glenwood to fill bags with sand and gravel and place them along Mitchell Creek and adjacent homes to add another layer of protection behind the cement barriers that were placed.A very special thanks to the Garfield County Workenders Program which provided 14 volunteers over the two-day period. The Workenders Program is a unique sentencing alternative for those with alcohol-related offenses. As a participant, offenders are allowed to do work crew community service activities instead of going to jail. This way they can keep their jobs and stay with their families.Another sincere thanks to the Glenwood Springs Kiwanis Club which showed up in force Wednesday night to provide a combined 83 hours of help.Next, I would like to thank the volunteers who contributed their time because they were just part of the community. Those individuals are Jesse Beckius, a boy scout; Ryan Wyckoff; Greg Jeung; Gary Lieber; John Martin, one of our illustrious Garfield County Commissioners; Connor Austin-Martin; R. David Brokering; Larry Robinson; and our youngest volunteers, Keith and Kyle Winkler, ages 5 and 7.And last but not certainly not least, a big thank-you to Burger King and McDonald’s for providing lunch for all the volunteers; Glenwood True Value for donating gloves; and the city of Glenwood Springs and Garfield County for donating the sand and gravel.Once again, thanks to all of you who helped make it happen! You can feel very proud for being part of the 230 hours and countless dollars selflessly given to protect your friends and neighbors.Sincerely,Willa HolgateCoordinatorColorado Big Country RC&D


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