Roaring Fork Valley – Student Flights
Issue: Student Education
Airport Origin : Aspen, CO
Aspen Youth Center students joined EcoFlight for a flight over the Roaring Fork Valley. EcoFlight flew students out of Aspen Airport to see the beauty of their backyard landscape from the air and to learn about their local watershed. Students flew over the Roaring Fork River and Crystal River to gain a bird's-eye-view of their backyard watersheds, and learn about the challenges Western rivers face in the modern era.
From the air, students saw the headwaters of the Roaring Fork River on Independence Pass, and the headwaters of the Crystal River in the high Elk Mountains above Marble. Students traced these rivers to their confluence below the town of Carbondale and learned about the anatomy of a watershed. Those with a keen eye may have even spotted deer, elk, or cattle grazing in the lush pastures near these beloved rivers!
Flights also provided a platform for learning about water use and drought. Students caught a glimpse of Ruedi Reservoir, our valley's largest water storage project. The Ruedi Reservoir is one of many reservoirs in the larger Colorado River watershed, which covers seven states and supplies water to over 40 million people! Larger downstream reservoirs include Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Students' own research explored the West's ongoing drought and how it has affected water levels and water use in these reservoirs. The aerial perspective ties this big-picture learning back to students' home towns, streams, and forests.