Handicapped Fishing Area Project Seeks Volunteers
The handicapped fishing area in the Big Thompson Canyon, at mile marker 72, is in need of some serious help.
Ever since the area was built, after the 1976 flood, not much has been done to maintain it. Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), over the years, has pushed de-icing sand over the edge of the road and it now surrounds the ramp on the side next to the highway. There are trees, weeds, and bushes are growing up through it, and the stairs going down to the walkway are falling apart. The wheelchair ramp is dangerous to use and has big hole in it that prevents access. If someone were to fall through or off of the walkway, it would take a major rescue effort to help them. Many people think this is a Colorado Division of Wildlife area, but it’s not, and in fact, the Forest Service owns this area.
My wife and I have made a volunteer agreement with the Forest Service to repair the ramp. It has taken three years for the Forest Service to find funding for this project. Finally, late last fall we received a call from the Forest Service saying that materials had been purchased and were to be delivered in three days and needed a drop off spot within five miles of the project. We contacted Rick Spowart, of Department of Wildlife (DOW), requested a place on DOW land above Drake to store materials. That request was granted – so now we have a big pile of lumber all covered up-waiting to be used!
There is a lot of landscape work to do before we can start repairing anything. CDOT has agreed to pick up all the debris we pull out.
So we are now seeking volunteers to help put this great area back in a usable, safe condition. You don’t need any specific experience-just a willingness to help and to do something really great for our handicapped residents and visitors to have a safe place to get right on the river and fish or to just sit and enjoy this beautiful spot along the Big Thompson River.
We have contacted Estes Park Rent All about some help with generators and any tools we may need. They said they’d be happy to help! Park Supply can help with any hardware needed, as hardware was not included in the materials received from Forest Service.
Now that we have some vendors offering to help, we are looking for those great volunteers that help keep Estes Park going! We can’t do much until all the snow and ice go away, but with some additional help we hope to have this handicapped area back in good shape before summer. We will be working on this as time permits, and we can schedule work days around your schedule.
Any one that would like to help, please call Dallas and Maggie at 970-669-7729.
A great big thank you to Estes Park Rent All and Park Supply, Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado Department of Transportation, as without them this would be a tough job to get done. And special thanks to Estes Park News for putting this article in the paper!
Dallas and Maggie