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MCWC Interpretive Center Public Input Meeting

  • Rifle Public Library (map)

For nearly ten years, the Middle Colorado Watershed Council has worked to increase the appreciation of the natural resource that our region relies upon. The Colorado River is the backbone of lifestyle and economy where we do our work, from the head of Glenwood Canyon to DeBeque. The river, and others feeding into it, fuels our local agricultural and recreational businesses, and it provides riparian habitat for a diverse array of wildlife.

In the spring of 2017, the MCWC moved into the office and visitor information space at Lions Park in Rifle at the I-70 rest stop, courtesy of the City of Rifle. Half of that space constitutes our office, and the other half has remained empty since the regional brochures and information were removed years ago. At once, we began to secure funding for turning that empty space into a Colorado River Interpretive Center, and now we have the initial funds to begin designing and planning that space to be a place of learning and education of the Colorado River in Rifle.

We’ve contacted a dozen of interpretive centers and museums across the West to understand how they began their work. We have contracted Wild Rose Education, a leader in watershed education and educator training, to work with us as an Interpretive Planner, facilitating two public input meetings to determine what themes and topics will be included in this relatively small space. The first meeting will be to collect your input and the second meeting will be an opportunity for Wild Rose Education to report back with the Draft Interpretive Plan, requesting further input. Following this phase, an Interpretive Designer will be contracted to visually design and create the material, at which point the desk will be staffed with a part-time docent and the doors will open to the community, school groups, folks coming in for a brief reprieve of the highway, and anyone else who comes on over.

We’re writing to you to ask for your help in this initial content-determining phase. Please join us at both of our public input meetings to share your thoughts on what you want to experience when you visit a river-centric interpretive center, so that we can put it into ours. We need your input to ensure that this community and regional resource is well-used and long-lived, and we need input from all aspects of our diverse community to make this happen.

Our public input meeting will be at 6:00PM on Tuesday, August 7th and the follow up meeting will be at 6:00PM on Wednesday, August 29th. Both meetings will be at the Rifle Public Library’s Community Room, and a light supper will be provided.

Thank you for joining in with a community that wants to share its appreciation of rivers. Please email jon@midcowatershed.org if you have any questions.