FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010
Air Force Master Sgt. Cheresa D. Theiral
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (9/30/10) – Colorado Army National Guard engineers are slated to finish three public works projects Oct. 1-3.
The projects include moving large boulders for a water park in Durango, eradicating tamarisk stands from the Riverfront Trail near the Colorado River in Grand Junction, and construction of a retention pond in Deer Trail.
These civil-military projects are part of the National Guard’s Innovative Readiness Training program, which pairs military units with the communities they serve. Such projects fulfill community needs that would otherwise be unmet while jointly providing necessary training for Soldiers to maintain their skills.
In Durango, engineers from Detachment 2 of the 947th Engineer Company are moving large boulders from the Glacier Club to a staging area near Whitewater Park. The boulders will be placed into the Animas River as part of a future recreation area for whitewater enthusiasts.
“We are very thankful for … the National Guard’s assistance to move boulders to the site of the future whitewater park. We were at a stopping point, but this assistance has allowed the City of Durango to move forward with the project,” said Cathy Metz, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “Whitewater recreation in Durango brings in an estimated $19 million a year in revenue, and is a wonderful activity in which people from all over Colorado and the nation appreciate the beauty of the Animas River and this area.”
In Grand Junction, Detachment 2 engineers and fire fighters of the 1157th Engineer Detachment are working with the Grand Junction Fire Department to eradicate invasive tamarisk plants, which choke the waterway, by first removing them from near the riverfront then burning the remnants in an effort to allow native plant and wildlife to return and thrive in the area.
The controlled burn will only take place in favorable weather conditions allowing adequate smoke dispersion into the upper atmosphere. The Colorado National Guard and the City of Grand Junction will monitor weather forecasts prior to any ignition of the slash piles to ensure good to excellent conditions exist for burning and smoke dispersion. If conditions do not meet the necessary limitations, the burning for the day will not occur, said Kristin Winn, public information coordinator for the city of Grand Junction.
In Deer Trail, located in a rural area about 20 miles south of Byers, the retention pond will be used by North Central Fire District firefighters to refill their fire engines while responding to fire-related emergencies in the surrounding rural area. The work there is being done by engineers of Detachment 1 of the 947th Engineer Company, who are based at Fort Carson, Colo.
“This is a great mission that will help the North Central Fire District make the surrounding community safer,” said Col. Dana Capozzella, commander of the Colorado Army National Guard. “This is exactly the type of training our engineers need to maintain their ability to respond to local emergencies and support the nation.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of these projects are available for download from http://www.co.ng.mil/flickr
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