Meet Your Forest: No matter your age, you can be a forest steward | SummitDaily.com

Meet Your Forest: No matter your age, you can be a forest steward

Courtesy of Friends of the Dillon Ranger District
Courtesy of Friends of the Dillon Ranger District |

Volunteers needed

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District is still in need of volunteers for a McCullough Gulch restoration project in partnership with the nonprofit Wildlands Restoration Volunteers organization on Saturday, Aug. 22, and Sunday, Aug. 23. The McCullough Gulch trail, just south of Breckenridge, winds up past a series of waterfalls before reaching a glacial carved lake. It currently includes a central loop, which serves as a central point for a myriad of social trails that crisscross it and branch out beyond. For more information on volunteering for this project, or just to let FDRD know how your Summit County summer is going, call Jasmine Hupcey at (970) 262-3449 or email jasmie@fdrd.org.

Summer 2015 is in full swing, and the youth of Summit County are a big part of the summer’s fun (with a little education sprinkled in for good measure).

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District’s Youth Stewardship Programs are underway, enabling our community kids to participate in volunteer projects centered on pressing trail maintenance and annual forest restoration. These projects educate and increase environmental awareness through action. FDRD provides a plethora of experiences for youth, right here in our own backyard in the White River National Forest.

Our youth programs primarily benefit Summit County youth ages 6 to 18. Their work affects not only their families but also our community as a whole and the people who visit our national forest lands every year. Many of our youth projects are coordinated in partnership with other local nonprofits and youth groups. These partnerships have enabled FDRD to offer stewardship opportunities for youth that might not otherwise have access to our programs or awareness of what our projects might offer. In turn, our partner organizations benefit from access to youth-oriented, service-learning opportunities.

Our service experiences are developed with different age ranges in mind. For younger children, our primary emphasis is on our mountain ecosystem. Activities such as games, visual aids and interpretive hikes enable young minds to learn and imagine a great future for our National Forest. For teenagers, FDRD projects often involve the use of tools and can be more labor intensive, such as planting trees or maintaining a trail. We also provide opportunities to help plan and implement projects by taking on a leadership role. Opportunities range from first-time experiences with nature to Eagle Scouts helping coordinate a project.

Your family may already be involved with one of our 2015 Youth partners. Inquire to see if your kids can be a part of an FDRD project day with the Keystone Science School, SOS Outreach, Frisco day camps, Girls on the Run, Seventh Street Church Frisco, Bold Earth in Golden, Colorado College and Boy Scouts, to name a few.

We also encourage folks to bring the whole family out on any one of our open to the public project days. Please visit our website and sign up directly on our project calendar at fdrd.org/calendar. We believe lifelong environmental caring starts with the kids and the lessons we instill early in their lives. Stewardship is for all ages, and here at FDRD, we know that we leave these trails to future generations!

Jasmine Hupcey is the office and volunteer manager for Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. She can be reached at jasmine@fdrd.org. For more information on the organization and volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.fdrd.org.


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