Leadership group plants new trees in Breckenridge | SummitDaily.com

Leadership group plants new trees in Breckenridge

JANICE KURBJUN
summit daily news

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE – A handful of people worked under low, dark clouds in Breckenridge Thursday morning, planting trees along the Blue River near the Breckenridge Police Station.

As hail and snow turned to sleet and rain and then gave way to partly sunny skies, past and present members of the Breckenridge Leadership Challenge Program finished work. They then gathered to listen to state Sen. Dan Gibbs, (D-Summit County), speak about forest health and leadership experiences.

Cottonwoods for the planting were partially donated by local landscape and design firm Neils-Lunceford, with the rest purchased by the town. The project’s goal was to move forward with an overarching revegetation plan for the Blue River corridor, which has been “a pile of dredge rock” for years, according to Open Space and Trails planner Scott Reid. He said the 30 trees should help improve fish habitat by providing shade as well as improving roadside aesthetics approaching Breckenridge on Highway 9.

The larger project focuses on the section of river between Valley Brook Road and Colorado Mountain College’s Breckenridge campus. Next year, Reid said, hundreds of trees should be planted to continue to further the plan.

The tree-planting was one of the last events for this year’s Leadership Challenge class, community development administrative services coordinator Joanie Brewster said. It was one of about 10 such events held throughout the summer to help expose crew members to various Breckenridge departments and to the community. Crew members are chosen through an application process and can come from any Town of Breckenridge branch. On Oct. 7, they complete the program with a graduation and feedback ceremony.

“We try to balance outdoor fun and running around with indoor thinking about yourself,” Brewster said. Reid added that events have included trail building as well as a leadership forum with local CEOs.

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Reid further explained that the program aims to develop leadership skills in Breckenridge employees. The goal, he said, is to “understand how to communicate and apply the town’s values every day.”

Gibbs touched on his own strides in leadership roles, attributing his successes to “being a part of the process,” rather than sitting back and complaining. There was a time, he said, when he looked in the mirror and asked, “Why not me?” From there, it amounted to working hard at problem solving, being persistent and building collaboration in the political world, he said.

SDN reporter Janice Kurbjun can be contacted at jkurbjun@summitdaily.com or (970) 668-4630.