Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Cleanup of Cottonwood Lake and Shavano areas by Chaffee Rec Adopters set for  September

The September cleanup program organized by Chaffee Rec Adopters begins with an event near Cottonwood Lake southwest of Buena Vista, just past the lake along CR 344, where 120 campsites are being monitored with the Chaffee Rec Collector mobile app. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. Contact Event Coordinator Joe Greiner at to find out where to meet and what to bring.

Chaffee Rec Adopters Blair McBride, left, and Selma Kuurstra finish a dispersed campsite survey in the Fooses Creek drainage on Aug. 10, 2021.

The second event, on CR 250 at the base of Mount Shavano, takes place Saturday, Sept. 24 for National Public Lands Day. Chaffee Recreation Rangers from the U.S. Forest Service Salida Ranger District and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office will assist.

“Shavano is likely the most popular place to camp in our office’s entire management area,” said BLM Assistant Field Manager Kalem Lenard. “On busy days this summer, we’ve observed over 130 groups camping on public lands accessed by County Road 250.”

The Royal Gorge Field Office manages 680,000 acres and estimates that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a 42 percent increase in visitation. Mobile app data shows more than 100 campsites along the road.

“We greatly appreciate all the volunteers who care for public lands and are willing to help keep this highly valued area clean,” Lenard said.

Groups at both events will clean out and downsize campfire rings for safety and pick up trash.

“When an area is clean, visitors are more likely to keep it clean,” said Jessica Downing, Chaffee Rec Adopters Coordinator. “By removing ash piles and managing fire rings, volunteers are also playing a role in fire safety.” Chaffee Fire Protection will provide dump trailers for the events.

To sign up for the Shavano cleanup and receive event details, contact Downing at or visit to sign up on VIA Chaffee.

The mission of the Chaffee Recreation Adopters is to help the community care for all recreation lands in the county.  Program participants use a mobile app to assess recreation areas, report problems to land agency staff using GPS, and take action such as trash pickup. They can join group events or adopt a land section and steward it on their own.

Since their inception, adopters have removed two tons of trash and campfire ash during cleanup events this summer at Browns Creek, North Cottonwood Creek, and along River Road north of Buena Vista in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.

The program is funded by Chaffee Common Ground, Great Outdoors Colorado, and the Chaffee County Visitors Bureau.

For more information visit