The residual effects of last month's unprecedented rains and damaging flooding are still visible in some places around Boulder Reservoir.
Puddles dot the main parking lot and a large pool of standing water, cordoned off by caution tape, abuts the shelter near the swim beach.
But the reservoir and nearby Coot Lake and Tom Watson Park areas are now in the best shape they've been since the storm, thanks to the efforts of about 300 volunteers who flocked to those areas to move debris, rebuild trails and move dirt on Saturday.
One in a series of volunteer projects organized by the city to clean up and restore parks and open space areas after the flood, Boulder Parks and Recreation officials put out the call last week for "a few hundred volunteers" to help out at the areas on Saturday.
With about 230 volunteers showing up for the morning session and another 60 stopping by to finish things up at the reservoir is the afternoon, according to city officials, it was safe to say the project met its goals.
"They exceeded our expectations and in some cases our tools," Boulder Parks and Planning Superintendent Jeff Dillon said with a laugh. "We were glad to have them."
About 100 volunteers cleared debris from Tom Watson Parks and around Coot Lake before laying fresh gravel on the trails on the north side of the reservoir where they had been washed out by rain, Dillon said. Another 130 or so volunteers repaired gaps in the road on the south side, and also repaired trails and areas where the swim beach had been severely eroded by floodwaters.
The crews stopped short of laying fresh sand on the swim beach because it is now closed for the season, Dillon said. That will be laid down in the spring.
All of the work means that the trails are now open all the way around the reservoir, Dillon said.
"(The reservoir) opened last week to boating and is one of the best places to run," Dillon said. "There must have been 150 runners here at 8 this morning when we got here because a lot of the mountain trails are still impassable."
In the afternoon volunteers continued to smooth over holes on the main beach, and fill in washed-out volleyball courts.
Susie Youn was among the volunteers in the afternoon session. Noting she was lucky that her home was not severely impacted by the flood, Youn said she and a few neighbors volunteered to clean up North Boulder Park last week and were motivated to pitch in again this week. She was among a group of eight that signed up to help Saturday afternoon.
"Boulder has been good to us and we want to give back," Youn said.
Youn's daughter, Jessica Booth -- who, along with a few of her middle school classmates, also helped with the cleanup -- celebrated her 12th birthday at the reservoir in August.
Eevee Murdock, 12, identified several benefits to the volunteer work, including the exercise and the chance to socialize with friends while also helping the community.
"Then you can feel good when you come back. You can be like, 'I helped rebuild that road,'" she said.
Dillon also noted the great opportunity volunteer projects present to build community. The city is planning anther project, one that will clean up Eben G. Fine Park and then move east along the Boulder Creek Path all the way to Scott Carpenter Park, for Oct. 18 and 19. Details about the project and online signup information will be available on the parks and recreation website, bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec.
City resident Glenn Maslyn was among the shovel-wielding volunteers on the swim beach. With his own home luckily being spared heavy damage, he said he helped family friends gut their flooded basement last week and felt compelled to pitch in on some city recovery projects as well.
"Everybody is super active. Everybody is participating," he said of the efforts on the beach, adding the he plans to volunteer for future cleanups around the city as well. "My weekends are pretty quiet these days. It keeps me out of trouble."