Individually, SGM employees are known for their generosity and willingness to lend a hand, whether taking leadership roles on boards and commissions, coaching youth sports, volunteering with local non-profit organizations, or mentoring at-risk youth. We also often pull together our collective ingenuity, skill, and brawn to tackle exciting community improvement projects. You might be familiar with two of them: the historic Crystal Mill, and the Pearl Pass Bridge.
The Crystal Mill is reportedly one of the most photographed historic sites in Colorado. Over the years the Mill has deteriorated due to the relentless effects of weather and the seasons. SGM volunteers, led by Crystal Mill caretaker and SGM employee Matt Hutson, spent a weekend coating the entire exterior of the Mill with a fire-retardant wood preservative and removing adjacent trees in an effort to reduce wildfire risk. The following year more SGM volunteers spent two weekends stabilizing the aging penstock, accessing the failing infrastructure by dangling precariously from harnesses. The SGM crew also fortified the Mill’s structural integrity by replacing the deteriorated bottom log at the rear of the building with a donor log from the nearby forest. For many years to come, the Crystal Mill will continue to delight those persistent enough to make their way up to its stunning setting.
Pearl Pass Road is a popular high country connector between Aspen and Crested Butte. High spring runoffs had compromised the integrity of one of the bridges on the road, and the insufficient span length required extensive annual maintenance to keep the road passable for vehicles. SGM structural engineers spent months designing a new bridge, factoring in the remote site over 10,500’ high, challenging access via 4×4 roads, and the need to use nearby timber resources to create the new structure. Taking advantage of a road closure, SGM volunteers, along with high country enthusiasts and folks from Pitkin County and the US Forest Service, removed and rebuilt the Pearl Pass Bridge over a weekend. The new bridge provides a safer and more reliable passage for adventurous explorers accessing the glorious Elk Mountains high country.
SGM values supporting our local communities and providing environmental stewardship. Volunteer projects like the Crystal Mill and Pearl Pass Bridge show our employees are not only partners in building communities, they are partners in bettering where they live and play.