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17-Year-Old Organizes South Boulder Creek Restoration Effort

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BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A team of volunteers worked along South Boulder Creek on Saturday in an effort to prevent erosion after last fall’s devastating flooding.

The 40-person team was organized by a 17-year-old Boulderite who says he loves the city’s natural areas and doesn’t want the creek to remain an eyesore any longer.

“I’ve lived in this area for a long time, and since the flood you can see these areas that are at this point unrecognizable,” said Seth Blum.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Blum first went to the Boulder Open Space department and then was given the green light to put the project together himself.

“We’re planting a variety of native species, so a lot of willows, cottonwoods, shrubs and plants that do better in wetter environments,” he told CBS4.

Blum also had volunteers installing erosion control matting, which will keep the creek from washing away their hard work.

“We also appreciate the help of this youth project in helping us enhance the habitat for those species as well as other native species that survive here,” Open Space spokeswoman Megan Bowes said.

LINK: Boulder’s Open Space & Mountain Parks

Bowes said her department manages 45,000 acres and they consider South Boulder Creek one of their crown jewels. The trails around the creek are mostly open, but there is still flood debris in many parts of the waterway.

“You sort of have to go back and remember there was a 15 foot high debris pile (here), including a bridge back to my left, and now that’s gone, but there are plants in its place now,” he said. “Just seeing that change makes you feel like putting in the time is worth it.”

Crews hope to install a bridge to replace the South Boulder Creek Bridge that was destroyed within the next few months.

“It’s great Seth has the energy to help us work with this project,” Bowes said.

Blum told CBS4 he hopes to help with more volunteer recovery projects this summer.

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