Maroon Creek Wetlands

The Maroon Creek Wetland Restoration Project is located directly below Highway 82 and the Maroon Creek bridge.

Mining settlers first arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley in 1879. In 1888, a bridge was constructed across Maroon Creek to allow the Colorado Midland Railroad to reach Aspen, hauling people and supplies into town and hauling rich silver ore out of town. (This same bridge carries cars across Maroon Creek today!)

On or near the project site, wetlands had been drained, cabins and roads built, and the area used for growing hay and grazing cows. The valuable wetlands had basically been displaced by a growing human population. The project area was overgrown with non-native Plumeless Thistle, Smooth Brome, and other non-native pasture grasses. In 1999, a small mammal inventory was conducted and out of 80 traps in a three day study, only six small mammals were caught and identified.

As a result of this restoration project, the area has been restored from a nearly sterile environment to a thriving riparian forest-wetland complex, attractive to a variety of wildlife species.