Walk the Audubon Trail on the Redlands in Grand Junction and you'll see construction underway near Connected Lakes. What's going on?

If you've ever walked this trail, you're probably familiar with the area with heavy vegetation just east of the ranger station at Connected Lakes. A portion of the vegetation in that spot has been cleared.

Nearby you'll see this sign:

Audubon Trail Construction 3
Waylon Jordan

According to the info on the sign, Grand Valley Audubon has begun the first phase of wetland improvements on the Nature Preserve. The sign states, "Approximately four acres of ponds will be partially drained, fill dirt added and shoreline alterations made to create shallow water wetlands."

This is my favorite Western Colorado trail. By my estimates, I've walked this trail at least twice a week, every week, for a little over 10 years. Given a distance of roughly two miles each way, for a total of four miles round trip, the figures break down like this:

  • 4 miles x twice per week = 8 miles per week
  • 8 miles per week x 52 weeks in a year = 416 miles per year
  • 416 miles per year x 10 years = 4,160 miles walked on this trail

To put that into perspective, Grand Junction, Colorado to Chicago, Illinois comes in at 1,255 miles. Taking that into consideration, my total miles on the Audubon Trail are equivalent to walking from Grand Junction to Chicago 3.314 times. I've driven from Grand Junction to Chicago several times in my life. Let me tell you, it's no fun.

I digress. My reason for using the example above is to demonstrate how unaware I was as to what was hiding behind the dense foliage at this point on the trail.

Audubon Trail Construction 1
Waylon Jordan

This is interesting. While I'm not an ornithologist, many people are, and they enjoy this part of the valley. As you can see in the photo with the sign, for some time now there have been structures in place where people could enjoy bird watching. Add to that another structure just east of the location pictured above, and you have fantastic resources where people can enjoy observing wildlife.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this unfolds. No doubt this will be a welcome addition for the wildlife enthusiasts, not to mention for the various natural inhabitants of the area. In the meantime, if you walk this trail, keep an eye out for construction equipment and crews.

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