New organization aims to engage 1 million Coloradans in volunteer efforts
By Bob Berwyn
Volunteers in Colorado donated 1.3 million hours of their time in 2010 to care for habitats, build trails, preserve historic structures, educate youth and adults about the environment and staff visitor. The combined value of these efforts is nearly $28 million, according to a new report released by the Colorado Stewardship Advisory Council.
Hundreds of people came to the State Capitol April 21 to celebrate those efforts on April 21, designated by Governor John Hickenloope Outdoor Stewardship Day. The purpose was to raise awareness about the important role of volunteerism plays in protecting and preserving state and national Parks, national forests and BLM lands.
“Colorado’s mountains and valleys and our incredible legacy of the state’s land and waters are a part of each person’s responsibility in the state to protect,” Hickenlooper said.
The new study released, titled “Colorado’s Public Lands: Engaging our Communities in Their Care and Protection, Report on the Impact of Volunteer Stewardship in 2010” reported:
- In 2010, Coloradans gave 1.3 million hours of volunteer labor, a combined value that equates to nearly $28 million.
- Those volunteers cared for habitats, built trails, preserved historic structures, educated youth and adults about the environment, staffed visitor centers, and much more.
- Approximately 55 percent of total volunteer hours were spent working on federal lands; about 24 percent on municipal and county open space and park lands; and the remaining 21 percent on state lands.
- Stipend volunteers, such as youth conservation corps and AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, represent the largest group of volunteers contributing to public lands work with 685,675 hours or 53 percent of the total. Nonprofit groups organized 360,332 collective hours for 28 percent of the total and the remaining 256,662 hours or 19 percent, were organized directly by the land agencies.
- Outdoor recreation contributes over $10 billion annually to Colorado’s economy, supports 107,000 jobs across Colorado, generates nearly $500 million in annual state tax revenue, and produces $7.6 billion annually in retail sales and services across Colorado.”
People interested in getting involved in Colorado outdoor stewardship can learn about volunteer opportunities such as trail building and maintenance, re-foresting, preservation of historic structures, and more at:
The Stewardship Advisory Council is a public-private collaboration formed in 2010 to address outdoor stewardship issues and actively work to support an increased role for public involvement in the preservation and conservation of Colorado’s natural and cultural heritage. The Council is hosted and staffed by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. For information, contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-818-7264.
Filed under: BLM, Colorado, Colorado State Parks, Environment, forests, national parks, public lands, Summit County Colorado, US Forest Service, White River National Forest Tagged: | BLM, Colorado, Colorado State Parks, Gov. John Hickenlooper, public lands stewardship, Summit County News, US Forest Service, Volunteers for Outdoors Colorado