Upper Trail Loop effort technical focus in RMFI fall GoG workdays

       The Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) will return to the Garden of the Gods for volunteer workdays this fall.
       Featured will be a pair of three-day technical project weekends, Friday to Sunday, Oct. 4-6 and 11-13. These will be aimed at upgrading a well-used, half-mile-long, natural-surface footpath in the south part of the Central Garden called the Upper Loop Trail. The chief work will involve building and installing erosion-controlling timber steps. The trail is “pretty steep in parts” and earmarked for hikers only, noted Joe Lavorini of RMFI.
       For each of those three-days, RMFI will provide a half-day of training on Friday and a barbecue on Saturday night in hopes that the same volunteers will stay with the project the entire weekend, he said.
       Two other continuing projects (all on weekends from Sept. 15 to Nov. 11) will focus on stabilizing erosion gullies in the popular Spring Canyon picnic area and on closing social trails and restoring eroded areas in the Central Garden.
       Volunteers are welcome. Advance registration is required. For more information or to sign up, call Liz Nichol of RMFI at 471-7736 or email rmfi@rmfi.org.
       A related opportunity is to be a “Garden Greeter” with the volunteer Friends of Garden of the Gods (FOGG) organization. This involves a two-hour shift in the Central Garden during RMFI projects. For more information, contact Carol Wilcox at iamcarol.wilcox@gmail.com or 528-7179.
       RMFI's scheduled Central Garden and/or Spring Canyon workdays are:
       - Sept. 14, 15, 21 (youth day), 28 (lunch provided) and 29.
       - Oct. 5, 12, 13, 19 (youth day), 26 (youth day), and 27.
       - Nov. 2, 3, 9, 10 and 11.

       Youth days are intended especially for middle or high school students (although parents or older friends are welcome to join in).
       The Upper Loop Trail and Central Garden projects are part of a long-term maintenance effort that the nonprofit, Westside-based agency started in 2003, supported by Colorado Springs Parks and with funding help from the Garden of the Gods Foundation.
       RMFI embarked on the Central Garden and Upper Loop Trail projects in 2011, while Spring Canyon has continuing issues that have required regular attention over the years.

Westside Pioneer/press release