Funds will be used to install a learning center on Big Thompson River
Ft Collins, October 23, 2017– The Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter of Trout Unlimited has received a $2,300 grant for a Big Thompson River Learning Station. The grant comes through Trout Unlimited’s nationwide Embrace A Stream grant program. The funds will be used to install a learning center on the Big Thompson River to inform visitors of the complex ecological systems the river supports.
“We’re thrilled to be able to do more great work teaching about and improving the Big Thompson River thanks to this grant,” said Coy Wylie of Loveland, Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter President. “With the help of this grant, we will engage volunteers from our community to work on a river we all, residents and anglers alike, know and love.” Both the Rocky Mountain Flycasters and the Alpine Anglers chapter of Estes Park have also made cash donations to the fund.
The Big Thompson River Learning Station Project will install panels to inform visitors of how the Big Thompson ecosystem works, how the trout populations rely on its ecological features, and TU’s role in protecting and restoring the river. Many community members, along with tourists and recreationists, are interested in the river and its ecology, but there is currently no easy way for them to learn about it. This project will fill this crucial knowledge gap.
The Learning Station will be installed at Mile Marker 72 on Highway 34, the site of the fishing pier destroyed by the 2013 flood. The pier will be rebuilt with partial funding by a grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Fishing Is Fun program. Volunteers from the Rocky Mountain Flycasters and Alpine Anglers will provide volunteer labor for both projects. “Members from both Rocky Mountain Flycasters and Alpine Anglers helped build the original pier and maintain it after less severe flood events over the years,” says Wylie. “So this entire project is very dear to our hearts.”
The Big Thompson Watershed Coalition (BTWC) will serve as grant administrator and project manager for both projects. Rocky Mountain Flycasters was one of the founding partners of the BTWC following the 2013 floods.
Embrace A Stream is a matching grant program administered by Trout Unlimited that provides funds to local chapters and state councils for coldwater fisheries conservation. Since its inception in 1975, the grant program has funded more than 1,000 individual projects for a total of $4.4 million in direct cash grants. Local chapters and councils contributed an additional $13 million in cash and in-kind services to EAS funded projects, for a total investment of more than $17 million.
“We’re thrilled to support the Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter in its efforts to improve such an important local trout stream,” said Russ Meyer, chair of the Embrace A Stream grants committee, a group of Trout Unlimited volunteer leaders from across the country. “This year’s grant applications were extremely competitive, but the proposal for the Big Thompson River stood out.”
Along with the $2,300 grant, the Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter will also be entered in the Embrace A Stream Challenge, a week-long online fundraising contest running Nov. 6-12 and sponsored by Orvis and Trout Unlimited to provide an additional $50,000 in cash prizes to these important conservation and education projects. To help the Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter win additional funds for the Big Thompson River Learning Station Project visit www.embraceastream.org from Nov. 6-12 and make a donation of as little as $10 to help unlock prizes ranging from $250 to $5,000.
For more information:
Coy Wylie, President, Rocky Mountain Flycasters