Denver, Colorado – April 17, 2017 -- In its 33rd year of outdoor stewardship in the state, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) will mark its 1,000th volunteer project with a “Grand Milestone” celebration that includes multiple outdoor stewardship projects, starting on Earth Day, April 22, at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).
As the state’s largest volunteer outdoor stewardship organization, VOC has worked with more than 110,000 volunteers in Colorado’s outdoors for a total donated labor value of nearly $22 million. Since 1984, these volunteers have worked with VOC and its partners in 48 of Colorado’s 64 counties to build and repair trails, restore fire and flood damaged areas, and plant community gardens.
“There has never been a more critical time to come together for environmental stewardship,” explained Ann Baker Easley, Executive Director of VOC, “Colorado’s exponential growth brings new stresses to our state’s natural resources and magnificent landscapes, but it also offers opportunities to work together and create more sustainable outdoor experiences for Coloradans, both new and old.”
One such opportunity is VOC’s first Grand Milestone project, scheduled for Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Aurora, one of the nation’s largest urban refuges. Volunteers will join together to build 6,600 feet of new trail along First Creek to create a more enjoyable, sustainable experience for the NWR’s thousands of visitors. This family-friendly project welcomes volunteers as young as 10, and promises a meaningful Earth Day experience and a memorable kick-off to the Grand Milestone celebration.
The Earth Day project is just the first in a series of seven unique projects celebrating The Grand Milestone. Project locations include the Denver area as well as Colorado Springs, Buena Vista, Glenwood Springs, Del Norte, Breckenridge and as far afield as Steamboat Springs. The Grand Milestone will culminate in VOC’s annual Uniquely Colorado event, which will take place on Tuesday, October 10 at the Green Farm Barn on the grounds of the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Chatfield Farm.
On top of the Grand Milestone series, VOC is offering more than 50 other volunteer projects throughout the state this year. Among its many projects, VOC will include something for everyone: all skill levels, all ages, an afternoon close to home or a weekend in the mountains. “There’s no better way to enjoy Colorado than being outdoors,” said Jeff Trujillo, a volunteer and Board Member, “And there’s no better way to take care of Colorado than digging in the dirt, planting native species, or repairing a trail so that everyone can continue to enjoy what our beautiful state has to offer.”
To volunteer or learn more about Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), please visit www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.
About Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a statewide nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to motivating and enabling people to be active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. Since 1984, VOC’s award-winning volunteer, youth, and leadership training programs have engaged 110,000 people of all ages in caring for Colorado’s outdoors – a total donated labor value of $22 million. Such volunteer efforts have made a lasting impact on Colorado through hands-on work in fire and flood restoration, trail building and maintenance, tree planting and re-forestation, and more. For more information, visit www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.
The Grand Milestone projects (series of seven):
First Creek Trail Construction at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Aurora
Dixon Trail Construction at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Colorado Springs
South Mt. Elbert Trail Construction & Restoration, Buena Vista
Claim Jumper Trail Construction & Family Camping, Breckenridge
Mike O’Brien Memorial Project: Dry Lake Trail Construction & Family Camping, Steamboat Springs
Hanging Lake Trail Restoration, Glenwood Springs
Mike O’Brien Memorial Project: Stone Quarry Trail Construction, Del Norte