Meet your forest: Friends of the Dillon Ranger District wraps up summer season (column)
Friends of the Dillon Ranger District
Another successful season of trail maintenance, forest preservation and education has come and gone and the forest has already been blanketed in a coat of snow. The month of October is quiet for the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, as far as trail maintenance and fundraising events go, so we would like to share with you some of our accomplishments over the short but sweet, Summit County summer season.
This summer brought the completion of the new Tenderfoot Mountain loop, open to motorized off-road bikes, as well as mountain bikers and hikers. Summit County Off-Road Riders, or SCORR, was a huge part of the success of this trail, as well as COBank. We were also able to finish and open the new, re-routed section of the Soda Creek Trail, made possible by the Summit Mountain Bikers’ tireless efforts. Keystone Science School, The Cycle Effect and High Country Conservation Center also helped with the success.
We partnered with the National Forest Foundation and the Colorado 14ers Initiative to launch the NFF Find Your Fourteener campaign. This included four erosion control trail maintenance projects on the Quandary Peak trail, with help from several other amazing partners, like Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, REI, the Summit & Breckenridge Rotary Clubs, Colorado Mountain Club and Colorado Mountain College.
Employees from the town of Breckenridge, the town of Frisco and the town of Silverthorne helped us show some love to the Golden Horseshoe, the Frisco Peninsula and the Salt Lick Trail systems. FDRD also spent four days this summer with Breckenridge Grand Vacations out on the Spruce Creek Trail, and two with Christy Sports on the Peaks Trail, putting in some new, sustainable turnpike that will last for years to come.
This summer’s forest health projects included four days of restoration with the Summit Seniors in Montezuma and at Sapphire Point, two days of fish shocking with the Forest Service, and two days of watershed restoration at the Swan River.
To help cover the costs of projects, we fundraised thousands of dollars at several different events throughout the summer, including but not limited to: Keystone’s Bacon & Bourbon Festival, The Dillon Farmers Market, Frisco’s Concert in the Park, two yard sale fundraisers and Frisco’s Fall Fest.
FDRD’s youth series has continued to grow and enrich the youth of Summit County, thanks to amazing partnerships with groups like the Girl Scouts, Keystone Science School, SOS Outreach, Girls on the Run and Frisco Day Camps. FDRD also led a few community service days with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. This summer our youth programs were made possible by The Summit Foundation, the Copper Environmental Foundation and Xcel Energy.
Thanks to our sponsors, Kaiser Permanente and the Mariposa Foundation, our free, Summer Educational Hike Series really took off. We led 15 guided hikes on forestry, mining history, geology, sustainability, wildlife, wildflowers and photography. FDRD also provided volunteers to lead the Copper Mountain naturalist hike series. A special thanks to hike leaders: Dan Schroder, Rick Hague, Joe Newhart, Tom Koehler, Pat Taylor, Bill Linfield and Barry Skolnick.
Friends of the Dillon Ranger District continues to grow, prosper and help preserve our National Forest thanks to our hardy community of incredible volunteers and sponsors. So, if you see one of them, make sure to give them a high five, pat on the back or a hug … they deserve all the recognition! Also, stay tuned for our upcoming winter educational series, including guided snowshoe hikes, educational speaker events and our “Ski With A Ranger” program at all four Summit County ski resorts.
Meet your Forest is written by staff at the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. For more information on their programs and services visit FDRD.org.
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