Neighbors for decades, the nonprofit and river are bonding in a bigger way this season

The National Repertory Orchestra has a special place in its heart for rivers, particularly The Blue River, over which many of its performances take place at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. When a concert or rehearsal is in full swing, the entire expanse of its banks and surrounding downtown greenery is treated to a live soundtrack. The bond between NRO and the river is so tight that the organization is officially taking the Blue under its wing.

Beginning this summer, the NRO will “adopt” the section of the Blue River that runs through the center of town from Watson Avenue south along both sides of the Blue River corridor to South Park Avenue and South Main St.

“It is the most high-profile part of the river and honestly, the pulse of town in the summer,” says NRO board member Stephen Worrall, who is organizing the NRO’s Adopt A River campaign with the Town of Breckenridge’s Open Space and Trails. “Once the snow melt slows and water levels get lower in the summer, there’s kids playing everywhere, people sitting on the lawn and all around the river.  Local restaurants put out patio chairs and umbrellas. It’s the place to be. Where the river intersects the Blue River Plaza is the centerpiece of town. Everyone in town – locals and visitors – frequent this area. It’s the backyard of the NRO.”

 Beginning this May, NRO staff and volunteers will take charge of maintaining and preserving this section of river through September.

“Once the snow melts out, there’s that layer of trash that reveals itself. We’ll grab our buckets and get to work tidying it up,” Worrall says. “It’s a good, interactive way for volunteers and staff – even musicians if they’re available – to partner with and give back to the community.”

Aiming to gather about 15 people per session, the NRO river cleanup group will meet every three weeks in the late morning. Buckets and trash pickers will be distributed for a two-hour cleanup, after which volunteers will be treated to lunch. 

“It’s a logical way to connect with the community in a different light, not just from the stage or behind the curtain,” Worrall says. “This Summer, everyone will not only hear the NRO, but see us out there being a part of and giving back to the community.”

Interested in giving back to the community? To volunteer, visit the Adopt A river signup page.

Photo: The Blue River is always in the background of Breckenridge NRO events. By Elaine Collins.