College of the Rockies’ students assist on restoration project

Posted on
Image shows group of students in marshy area with mountains in the background.
Students in College of the Rockies’ ATBO program are helping to restore the bird habitat at Reflection Lake as part of their Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Stewardship class.

Students in College of the Rockies’ Golden campus’ Adventure Tourism Business Operations (ATBO) program are working alongside biologist Rachel Darvill, principal consultant at Goldeneye Ecological Services, conducting experimental cattail manipulation in hopes that it will increase the available marsh bird breeding environment.

Reflection Lake, located at the southeast end of Golden, has been cut off from the main flow of the Columbia River due to the building of infrastructure. This detachment from its main water source has led to the lake slowly filling with cattails, removing valuable bird habitat from the area.

Alongside Darvill, ATBO students enrolled in the program’s Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Stewardship class, participated in an experimental project, removing cattails from test plots and laying large tarps in areas around the lake in an effort to suppress the growth of cattails. The tarps will be monitored by Darvill and future ATBO classes over the next few years to determine the success of the test project.

“As a part of the Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Stewardship class, ATBO students are exposed to a large spectrum of environmental stewardship initiatives, including management of wilderness areas for tourism,” said Don Webster, ATBO instructor. “This specific project was meant to show the importance of community-driven ecological restoration in a natural environment and was very relevant to the students’ studies.”

The Reflection Lake Restoration Project was managed and delivered with financial support from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP). Learn more about the FWCP.

Find out more about College of the Rockies’ Adventure Tourism Business Operations.


About College of the Rockies
For more than 40 years, College of the Rockies has provided post-secondary education that meets the needs and aspirations of the people, industry and businesses of our region. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, fire services, continuing education and contract training. Through smaller class sizes, highly-personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.


Deborah Carty
Executive Director, Communications and Marketing
College of the Rockies

Karen Cathcart
Campus Manager, Golden
College of the Rockies