The Union Pacific Foundation Board has approved a $10,000 grant to the NFRIA-WSERC Conservation Center for 2013 to support the landscaping of the Paonia River Park.
The River Park, located near the entrance to the town of Paonia off of Grand Avenue, was once an in-stream gravel pit and is currently the only public river access point along the 33 mile-long North Fork of the Gunnison River.
The park boasts restored river banks, picnic areas, a boat launch area and hiking trails. It is a popular recreation spot among locals and is seeing increased use as an outdoor classroom for local school groups.
The Conservation Center’s River Park Committee plans to use the Union Pacific grant this summer to do xeriscaping, low-irrigation, low-maintenance landscaping in the most heavily used areas of the park. Invasive and noxious weeds will be removed and locals will be welcome to observe, learn and volunteer throughout the project. Xeriscaping will also beautify the park, making it a more welcoming space for visitors.
More information about the park is available on the Conservation Center’s website at www.