Caring for the creek
Trash picked up, then restoration work starts

       A cleanup of Fountain Creek west of Eighth Street June 20 symbolized the start of a major restoration project a little farther upstream.

TOP LEFT: Despite drizzling rain, volunteers from Gold Hill Mesa and government agencies spent about an hour picking up trash along Fountain Creek west of Eighth Street June 20. Photo looks west from bridge.
TOP RIGHT: Several large machines work on the early stages of the $2.3 million creek restoration project at the north end of the Gold Hill Mesa property this week.
BOTTOM: Gold Hill Mesa developer Bob Willard (nearest to camera), hustles down the rocks to get started on the trash cleanup along Fountain Creek June 20.
Westside Pioneer photos


       People from about 10 Gold Hill Mesa households, aided by 20 or so representatives from the three agencies partnering in the restoration, donned latex gloves, grabbed trash bags and braved a light morning rain for a roughly one-hour scouring between the creek banks and Garner Street. The “haul” included five shopping carts, a scooter with no wheels, a tire and 30 bags of trash, reported Gold Hill spokesperson Stephanie Edwards. “We were very happy about it,” she said.
       Gold Hill is sharing the cost of the $2.3 million restoration - encompassing 3,000 feet of creek between about 14th and 20th streets - in partnership with City Stormwater and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
       Expected to wrap up by late October, the project was under way this week, with heavy equipment beginning the process of reworking the creek banks and bottom. The goal is to stabilize the creek, improve its flow and minimize erosion.
       The cleanup originally had been planned in the area of the project site, but the partners decided to go downstream (between the Eighth Street bridge and the trailer park) to avoid conflicts with the work, which was already being staged the day before.
       One of the Gold Hill Mesa leaders was resident Kevin Pridgeon. The development now has about 60 households but is master-planned for 1,000. Residents hope to keep finding ways to serve the community “in the greater Colorado Springs area and the Westside in general,” he said.

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