Saturday, May 28, 2016

Celebrate National Trails Day by giving back

Posted By on Sat, May 28, 2016 at 8:50 AM

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If there's one thing to take away from the battle of the Broadmoor/City land swap, it’s that we in Colorado Springs LOVE our parks. And it’s not just city parks — it's county, state and national parks. We love our parks.

Often, we love them to death. Our parks are used so much that it’s difficult for the various parks staff or volunteer groups to keep up with needed maintenance and repairs. The amount of work always exceeds the amount of hands available to get it all done.

Next Saturday, June 4th, is National Trails Day. This is a prime opportunity for you, either as an individual, a family or a group, to make a difference in one of our local parks or on a local trail.

Created in 1993 by the American Hiking Society, the first Saturday of June is dedicated to celebrating our country’s trails. With the backing of federal agencies such as the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and others, the AHS helps to coordinate National Trails Day events around the country. The over-arching goal of the yearly celebration is to encourage people to get acquainted, or reacquainted, with hiking, camping, trail construction and maintenance and other outdoor activities in their communities.

With an expanding population and increasing tourism, our trails are truly being "loved to death." We have become somewhat of a victim of our own success. The need for new trails and for maintenance of our current trails is important to help sustain our outdoor way of life. 

Locally, National Trails Day is used to bring people together to help improve our parks and trails. 

This year, there are projects in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado Springs, Black Forest, Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Woodland Park and Larkspur. You can find more information about National Trails Day events by going to the AHS website, the Trails and Open Space Coalition website or the Rocky Mountain Field Institute website.

I plan on being at one of the project sites on June 4th, and I hope you do, too. You'll get to meet great people and will gain a better understanding of what it takes to build and maintain our outdoor activity resources.

Happy Trails!

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor and business owner who has lived in Colorado Springs for over 24 years. You can follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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