Connected Lakes Volunteers

May 3rd, 2022 to September 6th, 2022
Become a Connected Lakes Volunteer!
Members of the community are invited to join RiversEdge West and Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Connected Lakes Volunteer group.  
The Connected Lakes Volunteers will meet the first Tuesday of each month from 8 am – 10 am (May-October 2022). A list of dates and activities can be found below. Light snacks and coffee will be provided!  Work will all be outside, so please bring water, proper work attire (we recommend pants, close-toed shoes, and long sleeves), and sun protection.  Specialized tools will be provided, but you may also bring your own tools.
Help us plan accordingly! Please RSVP using the links below.
  • June 7th, 8 am – 10 am - RSVP here (FULL)
    • The volunteer portion of this event will wrap up around 10 am.
    • After our work is done, everyone is invited to do a little bird watching! We will be walking through the south end of Connected Lakes and into the Grand Valley Audubon Preserve property. Mike Campbell, a board member of our local Audubon chapter, will help us identify a number of local birds and explain the ongoing habitat improvement projects on the property. If you have a pair of binoculars please bring them, if not, we will have some to share. The entire walk will be approximately a mile and take about one hour.
  • July 5th, 8 am – 10 am - RSVP here.
  • August 2nd, 8 am – 10 am - RSVP here.
  • September 6th, 8 am – 10 am - RSVP here.
  • October 4th, 8 am – 10 am - RSVP here.
Activities will vary depending on the time of year but may include:
  • Mechanical weed treatment - Help is needed to manage tamarisk, Russian olive, and secondary weeds such as kochia (these troublesome weeds, if uncontrolled, become a tumbleweed that disperses seeds over a large area and displaces desirable vegetation), Russian thistle, and bull thistle.
  • Close social trails - A designated trail system, one that’s well planned, designed, constructed, and maintained, minimizes the human impact on the landscape that’s been conserved. Unfortunately, many “social trails” at Connected Lakes, or informal trails created from foot traffic, have created impacts such as unnecessary vegetation/soil loss and fragmentation of flora/fauna habitats. Volunteers will help to close these social trails by spreading downed woody debris across the trails to discourage their use.
  • Cottonwood cage maintenance - Cottonwood trees at Connected Lakes perform many important functions, bolstering life both in and out of the water. As a keystone species, their roots help stabilize streambanks and the wood that falls into the channel provides cover for fish and other aquatic species. A cottonwood gallery provides shade and moderates stream temperatures, their branching structure and cavities that often result from heart rot in mature cottonwood stands provide nesting habitat for birds and cover for a variety of wildlife. Many of the cottonwoods at Connected Lakes have been wrapped with wire to protect them from beaver chewing. Some of the cottonwoods have outgrown their caging, while other cottonwoods that did not survive need their caging removed and passed on to other cottonwoods.
  • Cut pampass grass flowers/seed heads - Pampas grass is a tall, cool-season perennial bunchgrass that is a noxious weed in some Western states.  It is noticeably becoming an issue in areas around Grand Junction, particularly the Redlands.  It reproduces readily by seed, and establishes in riparian, wetlands, and ditch habitats.  By clipping the flower/seed heads, volunteers will reduce the potential pampas grass expansion in the park. Volunteers will be cutting and bagging pampas grass seed heads in various locations of the park.
About Connected Lakes:
Connected Lakes, which is owned and managed by Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), is home to abundant wildlife and six miles of paved and natural surface trails winding around three lakes. RiversEdge West has been working with CPW since 2013 to restore the area’s 43 acres of wetland, riparian, and upland habitat.
Funding for the Connected Lakes Stewards group has been provided by the Western Colorado Community Foundation and the Xcel Energy Foundation.

RiversEdge West's

mission is to advance the restoration of riparian lands through collaboration, education, and technical assistance.