Saturday, September 26th is the 26th Annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) in Grand County, in the past probably the largest single volunteer event achieving more work than any other NPLD event in the Country. It has been your chance to give back to the trails you love by getting together, working hard whether it is in the field wielding a shovel, helping with registration or food preparation, or having fun with like-minded participants comparing stories and solving world problems. Together we normally achieve more in one day’s work than our Federal Land agencies can in several years due to Federal cutbacks. This year we can still give back to the trails we love, but many things have changed. Covid-19 has changed the way the world operates.
Grand County will participate again this year but things will look a little different with no big gatherings for breakfast and registration or party and dinner afterwards. With Covid-19 precautions in place, volunteers will be required to pre-register for the project of their choice and will be sent safety videos and waivers prior to being onsite. Groups will remain small, perhaps only 12 people. Volunteers will be asked to provide their own transportation to and from the worksite. While out on the projects, all volunteers will be asked to wear face coverings whenever 6-foot social distancing is not possible. If you are feeling sick, please stay home. For those interested in participating, but not in person, there will be an evening virtual event.
Volunteer events to choose from during the day will be smaller projects held throughout Grand County. Headwaters Trails Alliance partnering with the Bureau of Land Management will lead a bridge construction project in the Phases for the new Phased and Confused Trail. The BLM will also host their annual River Cleanup starting at the Pumphouse Recreation Site outside Kremmling. Partnering with the US Forest Service, HTA will assist in the finish work and commissioning of the new Sherman Creek motorized singletrack trail on Stillwater Pass north of Grand Lake. Last but not least, HTA will also be leading a trail cleanup and corridor clearing project on the Rendezvous Trails outside Winter Park and Fraser. Please look for more details regarding registration within the next week.
The mission of National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is to promote volunteer awareness in protecting and sustaining public lands through an annual event of trail education, maintenance, and construction, thereby building advocacy and ownership for our public lands, and strengthening cooperation and communication among public agencies, communities and businesses.
We hope for a beautiful autumn day in the woods but, as always, be prepared for anything. Dress appropriately for outdoor conditions and always have sunscreen-hat-eye protection with you. We also suggest gloves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes and maybe rain gear since weather changes rapidly in Colorado. Water and snacks will be provided at each project.
Although it will be quite different this year, we are quite happy to still be hosting NPLD in light of everything Covid. Please help us continue this amazing tradition! For more information, stop by the US Forest Service in Granby or call 970-887-4120. You can also contact Headwaters Trails Alliance Field Projects Manager, Sean Burke, at 970-726-1013. For the latest updates and a flyer with more information, visit https://headwaterstrails.org/event/grand-countys-26th-annual-national-public-lands-day/ . When we work together, wonderful things can be achieved…