The Salida Trail Restoration Project (STP) held a final work day and wrap-up luncheon on October 24. The project had over 30 volunteers participate in five trail restoration and educational days this year. This partner-project with Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas (LTUA), Salida Parks, Open-space and Trails (SPOT), Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC), the City of Salida and Chaffee County focused on weeding, seeding and mulching many areas of the Monarch Spur Trail, including the corner at 3rd Street. Habitat islands were planted at 7th Street and Holman. Salida 6th graders, members of middle school student council, and local high school students with SCC Youth learned about invasive weeds and the importance of biodiversity for pollinator and wildlife resilience along this important community connector. Please consider joining the STP volunteer crew or donating to support this project, which will start up again in March of 2015. STP applied for a Habitat Hero designation and received it in November, 2014 (see below). Questions can be directed to dominique@garna.org.

Monarch Spur Trail Receives Habitat Hero Project Award

Wonderful model of trail system as habitat corridor

On November 4, 2014 the staff of the Habitat Hero program named the Monarch Spur Trail as an Outstanding Park/Trail Project Habitat Hero Garden and an inspiration and positive contribution to their mission to grow a network of habitat for songbirds and pollinators in gardens across the Rocky Mountains and beyond, save water, and restore our joy in nature every day. The 2014 Habitat Hero application was submitted by Salida-area Parks, Open-space & Trails (SPOT) and partners and the Monarch Spur Trail was one of 29 projects picked to be Habitat Hero recipients this year. (habhero.org)

As a Habitat Hero, the Monarch Spur Trail will be recognized on their website and in their publicity and receive a Habitat Hero sign, a special Habitat Hero Birdwatchers preplanned garden designed by Lauren Springer Ogden and benefiting the Habitat Hero program, a copy of Colorado Wildscapes, the guide to habitat-restoration in urban and working landscapes and one-year membership in the National Audubon Society.

This award is due to a recent, local effort to rehabilitate and restore critical habitat along the Salida Trail System. Since 2012, SPOT has worked with members of the City of Salida, Chaffee County, Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA), Southwest Conservation Crew (SCC), the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas (LTUA), adopt-a-trail volunteers and citizens to remove invasive weeds, plant native grasses and plants, and provide ecological education and opportunities for adults and youth.

The Salida Trail restoration is an ongoing project that will improve the quality of our landscape and support our stewardship to our environment over time. This award very much honors our efforts and will help boost our energy and knowledge to help continue the habitat restoration in our community. Thank you!

Donna Rhoads
SPOT, President

Salida Trail project