USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force men's gymnastics team volunteered with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte this past weekend, focusing on flood mitigation in vulnerable areas around the Waldo Canyon burn scar.
Working with CUSP, the Falcons spent the day in the mountains above Manitou Springs, spreading oats to help protect the land against soil erosion. Many sites along US Highway 24 remain highly susceptible to flooding and the current project will provide re-vegetation of hill slopes to reduce that threat.
"I thought it was a really rewarding experience," senior Gared Chapman commented. "The team really enjoyed it, because of the demanding, physical aptitude needed to accomplish the mission. The good we were doing was really noticeable, because we could see growing vegetation from the groups that had worked only a couple weeks before us."
It is the second time that the Falcons have assisted in cleanup from the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire.
"I'm very proud of our guys for hiking up rough terrain and carrying buckets of oats to help with soil erosion," head coach Kip Simons said. "The folks at CUSP were very grateful to have fit athletes that could navigate the mountain and get into some areas that other groups couldn't reach. It was an extremely difficult area to get to, but our guys stepped up and got the job done. By giving up our Saturday practice to serve the community, I feel it sends the right message to our athletes."