Phase V of the Helper River Restoration Project recently received its first wave of funding from the Watershed Restoration Initiative. The generous grant of $144,000 is the starting point as crews move north to the Martin Road area for this phase.
“We continue to remove debris such as cars and railroad ties, and replace these river diversions with boulders, returning the river to its more natural state,” said Helper City Mayor Lenise Peterman. “Along the way, we create both human and fish passage, which is part of the overall conceptual plan to create a recreational corridor of roughly four miles through the heart of Helper.”
During this process, crews create ingress and egress from the river at strategic points as well as remove invasive species and plant. The aim is to also create flood plain zones to manage high water years and overall improve the natural aesthetic of the river. Fishing, tubing, swimming and more activities will serve as a draw for both residents and guests alike. While raising funds for Phase V is underway now, the actual implementation will be conducted in 2020.
“Helper City is fortunate to have developed strategic partnerships across the state on this effort, but without the project management of River Restoration.org and the ongoing support of such groups as the Division of Outdoor Recreation, National Park Services, Trout Unlimited, Recreation Trails and more, we would not be in the fortunate position we find ourselves in today,” Peterman said. “To those and more, we say thank you for your support and we are excited to see Phase IV conclude and Phase V begin.”