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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Students win grant for night-vision osprey cam

Courtesy of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Pitkin County’s Healthy Rivers Board handed out thousands of dollars in grants Thursday, including one project that has high schoolers keeping a 24-hour watch on wildlife.

Two ninth graders, Anja Simpson and Charles Mowbray, from Colorado Rocky Mountain School were awarded $933 to outfit an osprey camera with night vision and a microphone.

It was an unconventional request in a packed grant cycle, but chair Lisa Tasker said the Healthy Rivers Board embraces the students’ project.

“I think that understanding what ospreys do and putting that in as part of their science program made a lot of sense to us because ospreys are so connected to the river,” Tasker said.  

There will be a link to the students’ osprey cam from the Healthy Rivers website.

The board awarded a total of nearly $30,000, including grants to the Aspen Global Change Institute and the Roaring Fork Conservancy. The board is still considering two larger funding requests. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking $80,000 for work to protect native cutthroat trout in the Roaring Fork watershed, and the Aspen Valley Land Trust wants $300,000 to restore a stretch of the Crystal River through Carbondale.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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