It’s important that the people who live in Summit County can help take care of their trails in a way that’s positive and feels good, said Jessica Evett, director of Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. Volunteer trail-maintenance projects occur throughout the summer and are offered by most of the local trail-management agencies.
“Our projects are a great way for people to have fun and connect with other people who really value where we live and why we’re all here,” Evett said. “A lot of people end up here because they wanted to live here specifically. They place a high value on the recreational opportunities here, but with all of the challenges in terms of the economy and huge challenges of the pine beetle epidemic, the federal budgets for recreation and maintaining local trails have steadily decreased over the past 10 years.”
Evett said volunteers don’t just fill a gap left by decreased funding. The trails don’t heal themselves, she said, and it’s important that local people take ownership of them.
“We want to have — we know we have — a great trail system, and we want to keep it great and make it even better and make it sustainable,” she said.
If you want to help with trail maintenance in Summit County, here are a few volunteer events to get you started. Contact the organizations listed for more information or to register for a particular event.
For more information, call Katie Kent at (970) 668-4092.
• Saturday, May 31: National Trails Day and annual Bristlecone Tree Planting, plant tree saplings around Summit County
• Saturday, June 14: Summit County Open Space and Trails department partners with the town of Breckenridge to create the new Galena Ditch Extension Trail
• Saturday, June 28: Trail Project Day with 4-H and Betsy Goodell/Keller Williams; willow planting in location to be determined
• Date to be determined: Summit County Community Development work day; Muggins Gulch; trail maintenance in response to a necessary realignment, a new trail will be constructed approximately 1,000 feet long connecting into the Colorado trail
For more information, call Breeana Laughlin at (970) 262-3449, or visit www.fdrd.org.
• Tuesday, June 3: First Tuesday Twilight project, Frisco Peninsula Pine Cove Day Use Area; spend your evening “happy hour” outside on the trails. FDRD hosts Tuesday Twilight projects throughout the summer in Frisco and Breckenridge
• Friday, June 6: Summit County Seniors’ Project; the Forest Service has collected more than 2,000 willow shoots to plant along the Tenmile Creek watershed (near the Far East lot of Copper Mountain Resort)
• Saturday, June 7: National Trails Day, Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area; people from all over the nation will be out busting a move on a trail begging for attention, and the workday will end with the reward of a “trailgate” lunch provided by Pug Ryan’s