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Left Hand Watershed Center

We protect the place you live, work and play! Your donation will support work to protect and restore your backyard watershed in Boulder County. We value the power of science and community for a healthier and more resilient watershed.

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Restoration Program

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
General Public
General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Our Restoration Program addresses urgent and discrete problems and concerns identified through our Watershed Science Program; to enhance multiple benefits such as water quality, ecological function, flood resilience, agricultural efficiency, recreational access, and improving the natural character of the watershed. As part of this program we facilitate and lead watershed planning and implementation projects, consistent with applicable laws, property rights, water rights, local policies and procedures, management plans, and master plan guidance. We strive to implement projects that are transferable and repeatable across communities.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

As of 2019, we have 11 projects complete and 9 more underway on over 100 private properties in response to damage cause by the 2013 floods. Project planning, design, and construction costs exceeded nine million dollars. The projects were designed and implemented to reduce future flood risks, stabilize damaged streambed and banks, restore the ecological health of the watershed, and ensure human health and safety. Our staff procured and managed engineering, construction, and revegetation consultants and contractors to implement the work. We worked together with landowners to ensure that projects were designed and implemented for the long term benefit of the creek and community. Upon completion these projects improve overall quality, health, and long-term resilience of the watershed.

Outreach & Education

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children ages 5 to 21
General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Teachers
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Lefthand Watershed Group's Outreach and Education Program is an integral, innate, piece to all other programs. Under this program, we facilitate stakeholder communication, and strive to serve the needs of landowners and other stakeholders, with strong public and financial support. Activities include leading volunteer events, organizing and leading public meetings, engaging community members in restoration projects, and responding promptly to community concerns and questions about the watershed.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2019 we've started an exciting new partnership with local schools, helping integrate and support data collection and watershed health curriculum in K-12 classroom. We've also formed new partnerships at the University of Colorado- Boulder, working with the Center for Sustainable Landscapes and Communities to collaborate with students and professors on community science projects in Boulder County.

Stewardship Program

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Our Stewardship Program strives to build a community-wide stewardship ethic to support the health and resilience of our watershed for future generations. We work towards this goal by helping our community members become informed, involved, and invested in watershed stewardship through participation in monitoring and protection of recently restored areas of the watershed. We emphasize an adaptive management approach throughout all of our stewardship projects, so that we learn through the process of stewardship, and adjust stewardship actions based on what's learned. Using this community-base and adaptive approach, we aim to carry out creative and innovative stewardship projects that have value and transferability throughout the state.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

This year we focused on growing our community science plans and tools, launching our Catch the Hatch project, and hosting a Watershed Days event to engage the community in data collection and deepening their understanding of the watershed and ways to improve the health of the watershed. We also continued stewardship activities at our 11 completed restoration projects to help ensure long term success and benefits of these projects continue well into the future. In addition, we've expanded our reach to focus on St. Vrain Creek as well, completing stewardship, education, and monitoring activities throughout the watershed.

Watershed Science Program

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

The Watershed Center conducts project-specific and watershed-wide monitoring to better understand trends in water quality, water quantity, and stream health. Since inception we have collected water quality data via River Watch monitoring and we've recently developed and implemented a robust watershed-wide monitoring program in Left Hand and St. Vrain Watersheds as part of our adaptive management process. As a science based organization, we assess and monitor the watershed to ensure the watershed remains healthy for future generations.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2019, we developed an adaptive management plan and state of the watershed report to document conditions of the watershed and evaluate our progress on recovery. The framework and tools developed as part of our adaptive management plan were designed to be flexible and scale-able to other watersheds. As a result, we've embarked upon a county-wide effort to collaborate on regional adaptive management in order to collectively understand the health of our watersheds.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.