Dear Silver Lake members and neighbors,

The late Tim Ostwald was wonderful at inspiring us all to be stewards of the precious living water that is Silver Lake Ditch. He taught us how to sharpen our shovels and use our knees (rather than our backs) and so much more.

But these last few seasons have taught us that we really must spread the work among more of us as the nature of the Ditch becomes more overgrown and our older volunteers succumb to the realities of reduced physical capacity.

Here is a “Call to Shovels”! Please, please Reply to Cody Oreck [email protected] who has stepped forward to take on a role as Volunteer Coordinator. We need an email list with phone numbers of folks who are willing to help and to learn—especially at the last minute. The work can be very hard (but does not have to be) AND it is truly gratifying!

Below this letter is a list of immediate needs.
WHETHER YOU ARE WILLING TO VOLUNTEER OR NOT, please help us communicate with everyone along the Ditch that no one should be putting debris of any kind in the Ditch! Please spread the communication to neighbors (who do and do NOT have water rights) to share with their gardeners, employees and kids. It can be quite surprising how little it takes to back up the water with a potential of flooding.
Please consider stepping up (or paying able-bodied descendants or employees) to help. This really needs to be a community effort. We can pretty much guarantee that you will love the work and the friendships that deepen with it once you try it.

Water is life!

Your Board of the Silver Lake Ditch

Some immediate needs:

  1. The SLD is currently flowing water to Mesa Reservoir for the first time in a couple of seasons.  As soon as that lovely riparian habitat has enough water, we need five volunteers to help with the “Knollwood Liner Project.”
  • The first segment of work will be to clear the channel with loppers and pitchforks under Ditch Rider Elizabeth Avery’s supervision.
  • For the second segment, we need a team of five volunteers to learn about rebar, stakes and to collectively haul the liner into place. The very knowledgeable Don Bowman will lead, yahoo!
  • Cody will send out the exact date (and coordinate equipment, time and place) to those who respond to this email.
  1. After the Knollwood Liner installation, the Ditch will be turned on and we will need volunteers for the beautiful tradition of “Bringing the Water Down.” To fill Mesa Reservoir with very little notice, we had to scramble, but the next time will be more stately and we can really clean the Ditch as we go along if there are enough of us. However, the timing may not give us much notice!
  2. The Adopt-a-Ditch program can connect you with a section of the Ditch that needs some love. Lucy King will be your contact for that kind of work, especially if you prefer to work on your own. [email protected]
  3. Burying the cut logs from the fire-burned trees on the south side of Red Rocks
  4. Widening the channel from the Trailhead diversion to Alpine Point to minimize the trail seepage, etc.
  5. Finally, please consider gathering a few of your neighbors together this summer to learn more about the Ditch and how we can keep it supplying the green shade of north Boulder. Cody is willing to (bring some alcohol 😊 and) talk with folks about our stewardship possibilities and the priceless quality of this resource! Please let her know if you are willing to host your neighbors.