Great work on Moore |

Great work on Moore

Moore Open Space had a historical moment on Tuesday, Oct. 7, through Thursday, Oct. 9.

Travis Moore’s high school Ecological Literacy class and two of Mark Munger’s sixth-grade classes planted and seeded 19 different species of native plants that currently occur on the property, but historically were more extensive.

These students are now working on becoming the local experts on the practice of ecological restoration and the ecology of Moore Open Space, a natural evolution as much of the 65-acre parcel is just across the street from the Aspen schools. Each class completed five large experimental areas (a total of 15) that will help Pitkin County Open Space guide future management decisions regarding restoration. Knowledge gained from this year’s activities will also be valuable for future school classes that continue the program and tackle restoring “Moore” acres into the future.

Moore Open Space has become crucial habitat within the increasingly urban environment surrounding Aspen. Each participating class has a panoramic photo of the Aspen area on its walls, and Moore Open Space is clearly the last large area of native vegetation not on steep slopes in the upper valley.

With a resident deer herd, declining bird species, badgers, bears and a myriad of other wildlife dependent on Moore Open Space’s low elevation, native sagebrush and serviceberry communities, this parcel has become an important focus for Pitkin County Open Space’s mandate to manage wildlife.

This project could not have been done without Open Space being awarded grant money from the Aspen Skiing Co., as well as monetary breaks from several local and downvalley businesses.

We are extremely appreciative of the Aspen Skiing Co.’s generosity and support for the pilot year, one with an unknown outcome at the idea’s inception. Aspen Rent-All gave us free use of a large rototiller for the first day. And heartfelt thanks to Rocky Mountain Native Plants of Silt, Aspen Reprographic Service, Planted Earth, Slidemaster Photo and Basalt Office Supplies for giving us discounts! Last, but not least, a big thanks to Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers for the generous use of their much-needed tools.

This first ecological restoration project on Moore Open Space will lead the way for future projects thanks to Travis, Mark and all 68 of their students’ (and several parents’!) hard work. The plants and animals of Moore Open Space thank you the most!

Lisa Tasker, plant ecologist

Gary Tennenbaum, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails land steward

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