RMFI Citizen Science Program August 2019

Rocky Mountain Field Institute Citizen Science Program- Ecological Restoration Monitoring

August 2019

We are gearing up for our data collection season this coming fall. We collect our research-grade data in the fall. We want to know what the total cover on revegetated trails is by the end of the season. At the end of 2018, one closed trail in the southern reservoir valley of the Garden of the Gods had 40% cover and the other had 70% cover from a baseline of 0% cover in 2015. That’s progress. I hope to see even more progress in the plant community this year.

In August, we scouted what we are calling Strausenbeck rocks with RMFI staff. Unlike the trails we are observing, this area is a network of social trails heading towards rocks of interest in the Strausenbeck trail area. Since this dispersed trail site presents different environmental conditions, we are developing a modified approach for monitoring this area.

There are a few defined but non-system trails that lead into the Strausenbeck rocks area. This one, on the south side of the first curve of the Strausenbeck trail was closed this summer.

Regarding our trail measurements, we found the data collected mid-season last year to be unusable because the trail improvement work done by RMFI volunteer crews was in progress as we were measuring. Therefore, we are also collecting our post-season trail improvement measurements in fall.

Regarding the observation of human compliance with restoration signage, we hosted several volunteers during our open dates this spring and summer. However, we have not seen great retention in this data collection realm. Please join us! Email ecocitycoloradosprings@gmail.com for more information on how you can collect data on your own time when you are recreating in the Garden of the Gods park.

Our upcoming and final open participation date for the 2019 season for closed trail observation is September 22.

Our upcoming and final open participation date for the 2019 season for botanical measurements is coming up. Our botany team will meet on September 24th.

If you would like to participate in the RMFI Citizen Science Program, please contact ecocitycoloradosprings@gmail.com for more information.

The closed social trail (west) in the Garden of the Gods southern reservoir valley, taken from the Ute Trail intersection, looking south. The perennial question- when do we remove the sign?