On Sunday, August 6, Eagle River Watershed Council hosted its 8th Annual Community Float. This community event brings participants out to the Colorado River to connect with and enjoy the watershed via a free rafting outing, lunch and educational presentation. Approximately 90 participants joined, and for many of them, it was their first time experiencing the river via raft.

For this event, the Watershed Council partnered with Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement (EVOM), a local coalition that breaks down barriers to outdoor recreation, such as language, social and financial barriers. Five Timberline Tours raft guides, most who speak Spanish, guided the participants downstream from Lyons Gulch to Dotsero Landing on the Colorado River. 

Rose Sandell is the Watershed Council’s education and outreach coordinator and coordinated the event. 

“The Community Float connects Spanish-speaking community members to their watershed so that they are empowered to be active in its protection. It has been a community favorite since 2015. In recent years, though, we had a waitlist that had grown to the point that we made it a priority to expand the event and inspire more people,” says Sandell. This expansion was possible thanks to a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 

During the lunch held at Eagle River Park, Sandell led a lesson about stormwater runoff, non-point source pollution and how everyday actions can impact local rivers. 


“It always surprises people to learn that storm drains that we see in neighborhoods and all over towns often lead directly to streams and creeks. This lesson, paired with the experience of getting to be on the river in a raft and experiencing the beauty of the landscape all around us, makes the event so impactful,” says Sandell. 

Photo of the community float participants after the morning float.


Eagle River Watershed Council is a community-supported 501c(3) organization with the mission to advocate for the health of the Upper Colorado and Eagle River basins through research, education and projects. Contact the Watershed Council at (970) 827-5406 or visit erwc.org to learn more. To stay updated on opportunities with the Eagle River Watershed Council, please sign up for our e-newsletter at erwc.org