June and July were incredibly busy months for CCA on the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers! With additional support from our incredible volunteers and partners, we've had the opportunity to take over 150 participants out into the Dominguez-Escalante and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Areas and we're just getting started!
RIO on the River: 36 students!
CCA took students from the Recreation Inspired by the Outdoors (RIO) program on two separate day trips down the Gunnison River and one overnight trip through Ruby-Horsethief Canyons on the Colorado River. The majority of these students are enrolled in the Riverside Education Center (REC) tutoring program which provides diverse extra-curricular activities during after-school hours for academically and financially qualifying K-12th grade students. Both of the day trips were open enrollment, however, the overnight trip was specifically for the tutors and leaders in the program. CCA worked with these students throughout the trip sharing responsibilities and discussing what leadership means to them and how they can develop their leadership skills in pursuit of higher education.
Gunnison River Clean Up: 12 volunteers!
Volunteers joined CCA on a day-long float to pick up trash on the Gunnison River from Delta’s Confluence Park to Escalante Canyon. Participants picked up bottles, styrofoam, plastic totes, and many other odd trash items during the float. We hope that cleaning the stretch above the Dominguez-Escalante NCA during low water will keep our NCA clean when waters come up in the spring. Volunteers also removed a canoe stuck in a snag that could potentially pose a danger to rafters and tubers that frequent this section.
Diné Overnight River Trips: 43 students!
CCA and the BLM took Navajo students from the Diné College Land Grant Office Youth Development program on two seperate overnight rafting trips on the Gunnison River from Escalante Canyon to Bridgeport. Students learned how to navigate paddle rafts and inflatable kayaks on the river and practiced rescue skills in a side channel near camp. During the rescue skills course, students were given the opportunity to challenge themselves in a safe environment by swimming in the current, swimming into eddies and using throw ropes. This exercise not only improves their understanding of river saftey, but also improves their confidence when confronting new challenges.
Gun Fights, Petroglyphs, and Red Rock Walls: 16 participants!
CCA kicked off its new Adventure Series Program with a joint interpretive trip in collaboration with the Museums of Western Colorado. Community members rafted from Escalante Canyon to Bridgeport and learned about the unique archaeologic, geologic, and historical resources from CCA Board Member, Zebulon Miracle, who's an expert in western Colorado history.
Delta and Mesa County Partners: 25 students!
Junior Partners enrolled in Mesa County Partner’s Mentoring Program spent three days rafting through Ruby-Horsethief Canyons on the Colorado River. Additionally, students in Delta County Partner's spent one day rafting the Gunnison River and playing in Dominguez Creek with CCA and the BLM. The young people in this program are working with Partners to develop a positive self-image, a sense of belonging, and an acceptance of responsibility for their actions. CCA and Partners staff worked together to show participants that they can work together to create a safe and fun overnight river trip.