Improving the Trinidad River Walk

Imagine a hot summer day. You are sitting under a sturdy Cottonwood immediately adjacent to the river, dipping your toes into the cool water - little do you know that you are sitting in the riparian zone of the river. The riparian zone is the ecotone immediately next to a body of water that has characteristics of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems due to periodic flooding.

Healthy riparian zones are essential to a maintaining a healthy watershed. A healthy riparian zone provides a variety of benefits to a river: pollutant filtration, erosion and sedimentation reduction, and longer-lasting baseflows. This is why the PWP has put together a working group to look at ways to improve the riparian corridor from Trinidad Lake to the Kit Carson Bypass!

PWP is collaborating with the Arkansas Basin Roundtable, Baca and Picketwire Ditch Companies, Purgatoire River Water Conservancy District, City of Trinidad, La Puerta de Colorado Development, Culebra Range Community Coalition, Purgatoire Watershed Weed Management Collaborative, Trout Unlimited, and Natural Resource Conservation Service, to look at ways we can improve the health of the riparian area of the Purgatoire River. This will not only create a healthier river ecosystem, but also protect water quality and quantity.

To do this, we are looking at multiple aspects of the Purgatoire River. This includes:

1) Removing invasive species and restoring native vegetation,

2) Stabilizing river banks,

3) Developing a collaborative flow management program that preserves water rights,

4) Improving recreational access and educational displays.

At the end of the project, we hope to accomplish the management of a healthier, more accessible river for the community of Trinidad.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to reach out to us at

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3590 E. Main St.
Trinidad, CO