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Immersed

A New Learning Center in Rifle Sheds Light on River Health

Here on the western slope, rivers mean life. In May, the Middle Colorado Watershed Council (MCWC) will unveil the River Stop, an education center that will help the public learn more about the importance of our local section of the Colorado River and its watershed from Glenwood Canyon to DeBeque. Here’s what you need to know before it opens next month:

  • WHERE: The River Stop will be housed in a convenient location just off I-70 at the Rifle rest area, in the facility formerly used as a visitor center at 200 Lion’s Park Circle. It is planned to be open every weekend and some weekdays throughout the summer and fall.
  • SEE: Immersive exhibits include a cross-section of the river channel complete with rocks, insects, fish, and cottonwood trees. Other displays will highlight the watershed's unique setting and natural resources. Fundraising is underway for even more exhibits.
  • HOW: The center’s creative planning and exhibit installation was handled by Masumi Shibata Design of Grand Junction, which also worked on the city’s Eureka! McConnell Science Museum.
  • LEARN: Regular events at the River Stop will feature a range of free offerings for youth and adults. Naturalist Jeff Kerber will lead interactive outdoor programs as part of Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s Rifle Gap Outdoors initiative through the fall. 
  • VOLUNTEER: Community members who are passionate about river health and education are encouraged to consider donating time at the River Stop, which needs a handful of extra part-time volunteers to staff the center. Email info@midcowatershed.org to learn more about opportunities.
  • WHEN: MCWC will announce the May grand opening date as soon as possible. Check MidCOWatershed.org and follow @midcowatershed on social media for the latest news.
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