RMFI starts fall season on GoG trails

       Completion of the Strausenback Trail Reconstruction & Restoration Project is envisioned for the fall work season of the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI).
       Volunteers are welcome to help with the work, which has been the non-profit organization's focus at the Garden for the past two years.

LEFT: A shot of a section of the Strausenback Trail before Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) volunteers started work on it. RIGHT: An "after" shot, showing the improvements.
Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Field Institute

       Twelve weekend workdays in all have been planned, starting earlier this month and continuing through Oct. 31. Times are normally 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
       The Strausenback Trail, through the south part of the park, especially gets worn down because it is used by thousands of horseback riders every summer.
       Improvements will include retaining walls, steps and drainage structures. “Volunteers will work on building check dams, retaining walls, trail reconstruction, and/or form bucket brigades to move rocks and dirt from piles along the trail to check dams in the gullies,” the RMFI website states. “Be prepared to get dirty! This is an ongoing project and difficult to predict exactly what the work will be on any given day.”
       The work is in keeping with RMFI's Garden of the Gods Community Stewardship and Restoration Program, “launched in 2003 to assist the City of Colorado Springs in implementing the recommendations of the Garden of the Gods Restoration Report,” the website states. “The program provides opportunities for local citizens to participate directly in caring for the park. To date, over 6,000 individuals from various community organizations, businesses, schools, and the community-at- large have labored on behalf of the park.”
       RMFI's efforts have been aided by the Garden of the Gods Foundation (funded through the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center).
       The remaining workdays are as follows: Sept. 18, 25 and 26; Oct. 2, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31.
       Sept. 25 and Oct. 23-24 are currently full, according to RMFI.
       Oct. 16 is a workday intended specifically for middle or high school students (although parents or older friends are welcome to join in).
       Pre-registration is requested for all RFMI workdays. For more information, call 471-7736 or e-mail rmfibox@rmfi.org.

Westside Pioneer/press release