On September 8th, RMFI coordinated a tour of Pikes Peak restoration project sites for 38 interested members of the community including business, non-profit, and political leaders. The tour-group made stops at Elk Park Knoll, Devil's Playground, and Glen Cove - three success stories of the 15-year project - where project managers provided background and answered questions about the critical ecosystem restoration projects on America's Mountain. Since 2003, RMFI has led 172 workdays and engaged 563 volunteers and 59 youth conservation corps members who have collectively contributed more than 14,300 hours to the Pikes Peak Fund Project. The tour was planned and made possible by members of the Pikes Peak Fund.
As a result of a Clean Water Act settlement agreement with the Sierra Club, the City of Colorado Springs and the U.S. Forest Service paid a total of $600,000 into a Pikes Peak Fund to repair damage to streams and wetland caused by erosion and deposition of gravel from the Pikes Peak Highway. These funds were used to establish the Pikes Peak Watershed Erosion Control and Restoration Project, a multi-year, cooperative project between RMFI, the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the U.S. Forest Service to address the erosion that has occurred on Pikes Peak. This 15-year effort, concluding in 2018, has improved or restored many of the streams and wetlands impacted by runoff from the Pikes Peak Highway. Due to RMFI's efforts to secure additional grant funding, over $180,000 in additional funds were raised for the remediation effort. Much of the work was done by RMFI and Sierra Club volunteers, and by AmeriCorps, Mile High Youth Corps, and Pikes Peak Corps volunteers.
Photo courtesy of Mark Colvin.