Utilities volunteers help Douglas Creek OS

       Holland Park got a welcome visit from Colorado Springs Utilities volunteers July 24.

Volunteers with Colorado Springs Utilities' Community Focus Fund work along the Sinton Trail in Holland Park's Douglas Creek Open Space July 24. The entity agreed to help out out of concern that Colorado Springs Parks lacks the current resources to keep up with such needs.
Westside Pioneer photo

       “They came and cut down the majority of our dead and overgrown brush in the Douglas Creek bed,” reported Cynthia McGrath, a board member of the Holland Park Community Association. “It was a wonderful, surprising sight.”
       The 11 volunteers were Utilities employees, family members and friends. They had signed up for the three-hour project through the enterprise's Community Focus Fund, which schedules scores of volunteer projects every year around the city.
       According to fund spokesperson Ralph Cruz, “we review requests from different companies and organizations. This was a situation where City Parks, with their cuts and so forth, was looking for assistance on the Sinton Trail. So we told them we could adopt that and clean it up.”
       The project day was the Utilities volunteers' fourth on the trail in nine months, Cruz said. They started last fall at the Sinton's east end at Gossage Park; they go about a fifth of a mile each time. The recent project area included the Douglas Creek Open Space between Chestnut Street and Holland Park Boulevard. Work included fixing trail (as needed), trimming overgrowth (typically elm trees) and picking up dead wood.
       “The elms grow like crazy and overhang,” Cruz said. “Sometimes they interfere with cyclists and walkers. There's a lot of activity on that trail.”
       When they finished their workday, the Utilities volunteers left behind “six big piles of branches,” Cruz said. They plan to come back Oct. 2 to retrieve the piles and run them through a chipper to become available as mulch.
       Future projects, not yet scheduled, may continue the trail cleanup west past Centennial Boulevard and up to 30th Street, Cruz said.

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