Michael Blazewicz of Round River Design is presenting a lecture at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at the Scout Hut in Riverside Park in Salida, on the benefits of what he calls “messy” streams. It’s the first of Central Colorado Conservancy’s three-lecture, Conservation Series.

The lecture will cover the effects of the catastrophic 2013 floods that hit Colorado’s Front Range, devastating communities, property and infrastructure. The event juxtaposed conventional attitudes on stream management with evolving perspectives and new research. It will highlight the concept of an active river corridor.

This will be the first of three presentations, part of the Central Colorado Conservancy’s 2019 Conservation Lecture Series. He’ll share his two decades of experience on why flood events can be good for rivers, why “messy rivers are healthy rivers, and why rivers need room to express themselves.

According to Blazewicz, over the past century efforts at post-flood “restoration,” preventive “erosion control” and “floodplain mapping” activities, have attempted to subdue natural stream processes. The efforts have encouraged a false sense of security. But streams that “misbehave,” active river corridors, allow for the regeneration of critical riparian forests and floodplain wetlands and are linked to increased stream health.

Blazewicz works throughout Colorado to restore degraded river systems, as the lead field investigator and author of numerous river corridor management plans. Since the 2013 flood, he has worked on recovery efforts to assess, design, permit, construct and monitor restoration as a core member of Colorado’s Technical Assistance Team.

Lecture cost is $5 for Central Colorado Conservancy members, $10 for non-members and all students free. Tickets are available at the door or Central Colorado Conservancy Office, upstairs at 128 East First Street, Salida.