Click here to read the newsletter from the Fountain Creek Watershed & Flood Control District. Here’s an excerpt:
UCCS Values Relationship with Fountain Creek District
Contributed by: Kimberly Reeves, UCCS
More than 100 volunteers from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs (UCCS) participated in Colorado Springs’ sixth annual Creek Week, working to clear the Templeton Gap Floodway of 40 bags of trash, one and a half grocery carts, and a bicycle wheel.
The District’s Creek Week events raise awareness about the Fountain Creek watershed, by educating volunteers about Colorado’s waterways while clearing litter and debris from the 75-mile long Fountain Creek and 927 square-mile watershed that drains into the Arkansas River. UCCS’ Office of Sustainability has championed efforts to promote events on and around campus since the inaugural event in 2014.
This collaborative effort of private companies, city and county organizations, and non-profits has broadened the reach for our campus community by using resources from all partners to ensure we are communicating the same message to our circles of influence. The connection for students to volunteer through opportunities that support our surrounding community allows them to strengthen their civic engagement and development as world citizens. Creek Week provides a platform to talk about the bigger picture of community members across our watershed from Palmer Lake to Pueblo, which is all supporting healthy waterways through volunteerism.
The past two years, Creek Week has increased its efforts from volunteer clean-up events to involve citizen scientist opportunities, which engaged faculty from UCCS to incorporate these opportunities into their courses. This ability to use the surrounding ecosystem as a place to conduct research benefits our students in not only experiential learning, but also the City of Colorado Springs because our students are investing their time to strengthen our community.
The UCCS community asks for Creek Week dates year-round. It has become a positive expectation that our universities invest in our broader community and provides opportunities to make an impact one clean-up at a time.