Pitkin County Attorney’s Office & Healthy Rivers Program
On Tuesday, June 16th, the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners authorized four Healthy Rivers grants totaling $105,855. The successful grant applicants participated in Pitkin County Healthy Rivers’ spring grant cycle. The river board reviewed a total of five grant applications in April, recommending funding for four.
The largest grant, $50,000, was awarded to the Town of Carbondale to aid in the completion of planning and design for the Crystal River and Riverfront Park Restoration and Enhancement Project. Healthy Rivers contributed $5,000 to that effort in 2018 which helped the project partners collect community input and advance to 60% design. The additional funding will help ensure the design reaches shovel readiness. According to Healthy Rivers Board Chair Andre Wille, “This project has been many years in the making and we’re excited to help move it towards implementation. The completed plan will be a giant leap towards realizing the community’s vision for a healthier relationship with the Crystal River.” For more information on the project, visit: yourcrystalriver.com
American Whitewater applied for, and was granted, $19,355 to do a formal study of stream flows necessary to support recreational use on the Roaring Fork and Crystal Rivers. The study will create a quantifiable data source for modeling the impacts of future water supply projects and climate change on recreational opportunities in the watershed. This data will add to the Roaring Fork watershed community toolkit for illustrating the importance of maintaining in-stream flows. County Commissioner Greg Poschman stated, “This is really worthwhile information gathering and an essential component of review of a river anywhere. The Roaring Fork and Crystal River both need this.”
Water Education Colorado (WECO), Colorado Watershed Assembly, and the Colorado Riparian Assembly teamed up on a successful $7,500 sponsorship ask in support of the 2020 Sustaining Colorado’s Watershed Conference. Healthy Rivers Board Member Bill Jochems states, “We’ve sponsored and attended this annual conference since 2018. Its organizers do an amazing job of expanding watershed education and collaboration throughout the state.” The event has historically been hosted in Avon, CO each October. This year’s edition may take on an alternative form due to COVID-19 considerations. For more information please visit: https://www.watereducationcolorado.org/programs-events/conferences/
The Roaring Fork Conservancy was awarded $29,000 for curriculum enhancement, teacher training, and program delivery at the River Center. Healthy Rivers Board Member Lisa Tasker states, “The fields of river and watershed education are constantly evolving. We are thrilled to support the Roaring Fork Conservancy’s new interactive tools and curriculum development.” The river board has provided funding for a number of Roaring Fork Conservancy planning, education, and programming initiatives over the years.
Since its 2010 inception, the Pitkin County Healthy Rivers Grant Program has awarded nearly $750,000 to a mix of research, planning, education, restoration, and infrastructure projects in the Roaring Fork Watershed.
The program offers a spring and fall grant cycle each year. Spring applications are due March 31st and reviewed in April. Fall applications are due August 31st and reviewed in September. The program has approximately $150,000 in total grant funding available in 2020. The amount of available grant funding dollars varies by year.
For a complete history of Pitkin County Healthy Rivers grant funding, please visit: https://www.pitkincountyrivers.com/grants.html