Enhancing Three Sisters City Park Lands with Reclamation Project


Above, Hilltop’s David Livingston meets with CMU’s Professor Tamara Minnick to discuss how to address erosion.

Reclamation 3

The “after” pic of the same stretch of eroded double track


Reclamation 1

Eroded section of old coal road to be reclaimed and nearby drainages will be restored to prevent additional erosion.


The Colorado Department of Natural Resources, the Mesa Land Trust, and the City of Grand Junction are directing the removal of an old coal mining road on the Three Sisters Park that causes extensive erosion and impedes landscape restoration.  Throughout the week of November 9th – 13th, Steve Renner with the DNR will direct machine work to conduct geomorphic restoration that will rebuild the natural drainages around the road site.

Reclamation of the area will improve the public open space for those who recreate at the Three Sisters and for those who travel along Monument Road. Reclamation will produce a more natural looking landscape, rather than one eroded and scarred by unsustainable trails. COPMOBA, the BLM, the Great Old Broads, and the Mesa Land Trust work to build sustainable trails while minimizing the impact on the natural landscape.

The old coal road, constructed in the 1920’s or ‘30’s, was used by locals to reach a coal deposit in the saddle between the big and middle sister. This road was subsequently used for access to the property and for recreation when it was privately owned.

The Great Old Broads for the Wilderness, Colorado Mesa University faculty and staff, Hilltop’s Youth Crew, and Aridlands Natural Resource Consulting have worked over the past three years to plant native vegetation over old unsustainable roads and trails. After significant research and planning, all involved concluded that the old road has disturbed natural drainages so significantly that plant reestablishment alone would not successfully inhibit on-going erosion.

The DRMS, the Mesa Land Trust, and the City of Grand Junction reached an agreement that allows the DRMS to use a small track excavator to remove the road and restore the disrupted drainages to more natural conditions.

The Great Old Broads for the Wilderness and Hilltop’s Youth Crew will follow the DRMS with re-seeding and soil stabilization. CMU faculty and students, local middle school students, and other groups will also participate in revegetation over the next few years. Contact the Mesa Land Trust if you would like to be involved (Contact Libby Collins, 263-5443)