College of the Rockies’ Students Assist on Restoration Project

Students in College of the Rockies’ Golden campus’ Adventure Tourism Business Operations (ATBO) program are working alongside biologist Rachel Darvill, principal consultant at Goldeneye Ecological Services, conducting experimental cattail manipulation in hopes that it will increase the available marsh bird breeding environment.

Reflection Lake, located at the southeast end of Golden, has been cut off from the main flow of the Columbia River due to the building of infrastructure. This detachment from its main water source has led to the lake slowly filling with cattails, removing valuable bird habitat from the area.

Alongside Darvill, ATBO students enrolled in the program’s Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Stewardship class, participated in an experimental project, removing cattails from test plots and laying large tarps in areas around the lake in an effort to suppress the growth of cattails. The tarps will be monitored by Darvill and future ATBO classes over the next few years to determine the success of the test project.

“As a part of the Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Stewardship class, ATBO students are exposed to a large spectrum of environmental stewardship initiatives, including management of wilderness areas for tourism,” said Don Webster, ATBO instructor. “This specific project was meant to show the importance of community-driven ecological restoration in a natural environment and was very relevant to the students’ studies.”

The Reflection Lake Restoration Project was managed and delivered with financial support from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP). Learn more about the FWCP.

Original article from College of the Rockies