RFOV helps build Rifle’s future
Throughout Garfield County every town continues to prioritize building new and exciting trails in and out of their communities, as outdoor recreation remains one of the most valuable assets.
Next Saturday, for its final public project of 2017, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers will be heading to the Rifle rest area to continue work on the Colorado River Trail that was begun last year before weather got in the way.
This year, RFOV Executive Director David Hamilton hopes to see 25 to 35 folks come out for the event. Only seven have signed up so far.
“We want to get more of a presence in Rifle,” he explained. “We typically do around 10 to 12 public projects a year and try to draw from up and down the region with a pretty diverse group of volunteers.”
For over 20 years, RFOV has promoted stewardship of public lands by engaging local volunteers in conservation projects on public lands between Aspen and Rifle, according to the press release.
Despite “Roaring Fork” typically being associated with upvalley communities, Hamilton hopes to work on more projects in the western part of the county and to get as many volunteers from the region as he can.
“I’m getting to know more and more people out there and making those connections,” he said. “I think the community will see more RFOV as we build more relationships.”
The Colorado River Trail project will be RFOV’s second project in western Garfield County this year. The group helped improve the two user-created trails north of the Colorow Trail in New Castle on Sept. 30.
“We look for any kind of trail project throughout the area,” Hamilton added. “I think the Colorado River Trail could be a great amenity for people coming off the boat ramp.”
Every year projects are submitted to RFOV and selected by Hamilton and others. He hopes to see more western Garfield County projects submitted for next year.
“It’s exciting that they are doing more programming down here, and we support it 100 percent,” said Annie Whetzel with the Middle Colorado Watershed Council. “We look forward to partnering with them with the trail project and future projects.”
The Middle Colorado Watershed Council’s mission is to protect and enhance the health of the middle portion of the Colorado River watershed. Its office is located in Lion’s Park Circle in Rifle, near the river.
This weekend, MCWC and Alpine Bank will be hosting their fourth annual River Cleanup in Rifle and are still looking for any volunteers to join. Thus far, 15 people have preregistered, and Whetzel expects as many as 50 people to come and volunteer.