Never say the people in Paonia aren't committed hard workers. On Sept. 28 and 29 volunteers gathered at Paonia Junior/Senior High School for Demolition Days.
It wasn't a demolition derby with smashing cars, but two days of removing downed trees, brush, junk and debris to prepare the grounds for construction of a proposed sports facility. On Day 2, they did find two abandoned cars by the river. Cindy Swartzendruber, chairperson for the Flight of the Eagle Project, thinks they date back to the 1940s or 1950s.
The volunteers put in over 400 man- and woman-hours. That included parents, kids, students and community members. All volunteer hours will be logged and used as matching funds for the next grant cycle.
Swartzendruber could not have been more pleased and grateful for all the help from so many people. "I have had many phone calls from graduates [from] the 50s and 60s who have said, 'Thank you for doing this. We have needed to do this for years.' That's been very rewarding.
"We took down all the fence. Took down an old orchard that had been there for about 100 years. Stumps were removed in the area north of the pond. We were able to take down the old pump house and old storage shed. They picked up things that had been discarded on the property for years and years. Robert Enterprises donated a big dumpster. Recla Metals from Montrose helped us gather refuse metal and a couple of old cars along the river."
Their goal is to have the river trails open before the winter sets in.
Swartzendruber had so many people to thank for their generous help. Here are just some of them deserving of praise. "I really want to particularly thank Eddie Clement, Jess Campbell and Mike Hughes. They donated large equipment, front end loaders, gas and time. That's the reason we accomplished on Saturday everything I had planned for the weekend. Austine Farms and Dan Buzzeldonated equipment and time. Vegetation Management West, a Crawford company, cleared trees that were dead to ensure safety. They donated their time, equipment and sawyers to help us prepare that property. Workers on Sunday cut and hauled out firewood from the trees they had cut. As they continue to work the east side of the property, we hope to have primitive trails ready this fall for the community to use."
Swartzendruber concluded, "We were so pleased. Everyone was so generous with their time and resources. We accomplished a great deal."
The Flight of the Eagle Project is still in the fund raising stage. The Buy A Brick Project was designed so individuals and families could be an active participant in the fund raising. People can buy an 8'' X 8' brick for $125, an 8" X 16" brick for $250 or a 16" X 16" brick for $500. Many families are buying a brick in names of loved ones.
Their fund raising centers around our Buy A Brick campaign. For individuals who can do more than $500, they have for purchase stone benches. Other donors might want to band together to build a pavilion or to work with other interested partners to fund the outdoor classrooms and performance areas. There are opportunities for all sorts of donations, big and small.
"We need large donors. We've sent letters to businesses that do business in and around the North Fork area. Businesses might like to contribute toward a pavilion or stone benches that will be on the riverfront area and in areas north and south of the school," she said.
Over $15,000 has already been raised, one brick at a time. "But we certainly need an infusion of cash. If anyone is interested, I'd certainly like to talk to them," Swartzendruber said.
They have a series of grants they are applying for in the spring. They are hoping to apply for a $350,000 GOCO constrution grant. They will need a 10 percent cash match on that. "Our initial goal was $35,000. However, we will need a 50 percent match with other grants for in kind work, ect. Really, we are hoping to get $100,000 for a cash match," she said.
The project has already received a $75,000 planning grant from Great Outdoors Colorado. In order to get that, they needed a $25,000 cash match which was donated by Bill Koch. In addition, Koch helped them find and then continued to contribute to the salary of their grant writer.
Everything in this development will be in a natural setting. Natural stone will be used in the construction.
The project is divided into phases. The first phase will be to build a football field and an all-weather track.
If you are interested in the Flight of the Eagle Project, contact the committee at 527-6199.blog comments powered by Disqus