Jon Dauzvardi and Grant Gurnee, Restoration Ecologists, and managers of Ecosystem Services (known as EcoS) out of Erie, were in Lyons last week with a crew planting native trees, shrubs, vegetation,
and grasses along the banks of the St. Vrain River. The firm is implementing a habitat restoration project in coordination with the Town of Lyons to enhance Preble’s meadow jumping mouse (PMJM) habitat.
The mouse is a federally listed threatened species under the Endangered Species Act that inhabits riparian corridors along rivers and streams in Colorado and Wyoming.
EcoS worked with Dave Cosgrove, Director of Lyons Parks & Recreation, to locate a suitable site within Lyons. The site, just upstream from the McConnell Bridge, adjacent to the ponds, was selected as it provides optimal habitat for the mouse, and was a “gap” in an otherwise continuous corridor of riparian vegetation along this reach of the river.
EcoS is implementing the project on behalf of Marc and Karen Bernardi of Boulder. The Bernardi’s are donating the native wetland and riparian vegetation, consulting and construction services to the Town of Lyons such that they may implement compensatory mitigation for impact to PMJM habitat that resulted during the construction of their home.
Phase one of the project encompasses about 6,700 square feet along the right bank of the St. Brain River and the adjacent pond, and involves the installation of native, riparian trees and shrubs, including: 94 sandbar willows, 45 chokecherrys, and 18 snowyberry shrubs, 3 narrow leaf cottonwoods, and 2 peachleaf willows. EcoS is currently working with the Town to authorize the implementation of a second phase that would cover an additional 19,000 square feet adjacent to phase one.
Once completed, the project will provide multiple benefits to wildlife and citizens of Lyons, including: PMJM habitat enhancement, riverbank stabilization, wetland and riparian habitat enhancement, aquatic habitat enhancement, and the aesthetic beauty of native trees and shrubs along the informal trail system.
Dauzvardis and Gurnee are Restoration Ecologist and Professional Wetland Scientist. They founded Ecosystem Services, LLC in 2008 to pursue their passion in the restoration of aquatic, wetland, and riparian habitat. EcoS is motivated by the pursuit of sustainable landscape planning and design solutions, and by a concern for the interaction between people, wildlife, and our shared ecology. They understand the ecological structure, function, and value of natural resources across pristine, managed, and disturbed landscapes. This motivation, concern, and understanding form the basis of their business ethic, and the approach they bring to their clients and projects.