Volunteers needed for Aspen’s North Star Nature Preserve project | AspenTimes.com

Volunteers needed for Aspen’s North Star Nature Preserve project

Staff report

Volunteers are being recruited to help with a riverbank restoration project at North Star Nature Preserve on Saturday.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers is heading the project to regrade a bank of the Roaring Fork River so volunteers can plant native willows.

The preserve east of Aspen provides wildlife habitat along the river corridor and in the adjoining meadows and wetlands. “Early settlers altered the course of the river to create more arable land,” said a statement about the project from Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers. “Over time, this eroded the river banks and destroyed the native riparian habitat.”

One collapsing riverbank threatens a mature stand of cottonwood trees near a rookery where great blue herons nest annually.

The work will be from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., including dinner. It’s a family-friendly project, so children are welcome. A youth coordinator will have age-appropriate projects for kids ages seven and older. Anyone planning on bringing a child should contact Zoe at zmanickam@rfov.org.

Adult volunteers will find a link for registration at http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/ 50413/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=81705.

Gary Tennenbaum, assistant director of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, which manages North Star, said a lot of people expressed support for the preserve this summer during a management plan debate. He said he hopes people continue to show their support by showing up to volunteer.