Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado is sharing its proven practices to help expand outdoor stewardship efforts | AspenTimes.com

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado is sharing its proven practices to help expand outdoor stewardship efforts

Staff report
Vail Daily

Land management agencies rely on volunteers to build and repair trails, and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado is sharing its 34 year of experience with a Stepping Up Stewardship Toolkit, available for free online.

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, an outdoor stewardship organization in the state for 34 years, has created a Stepping Up Stewardship Toolkit, an online collection of resources to help any organization start, enhance or expand volunteer outdoor stewardship efforts.

“With increasing visitation and limited resources, land management agencies rely on volunteers to build and repair trails, restore habitats and rebuild after fires and floods,” said Ann Baker Easley, Volunteers for Outdoors Colorado executive director. “VOC’s 5,000 annual volunteers can only touch a fraction of the maintenance needs in the state. By sharing our own proven practices in organizing, managing and training volunteers, we hope to expand other organizations’ capacity to tackle the most pressing outdoor stewardship work.”

SUPPORTING THE STATE

The Stepping Up Stewardship Toolkit offers free, in-depth step-by-step how-to guides on topics such as project selection, volunteer recruitment and working with youth. Stewardship groups, whether new or established, can complement the knowledge found in each guide with ready-to-use templates and checklists, hands-on training in leadership and technical skills and customized additional assistance, if needed.

While the guidance provided by the Toolkit was developed over decades of working in Colorado, much of the information will be applicable to groups across the country.

“Outdoor recreation, a multibillion-dollar economy in Colorado, depends on access to safe and healthy natural areas,” said Luis Benitez, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “By expanding the ability to care for these places, the Stepping Up Stewardship Toolkit supports the state’s economic future and identity as an outdoor recreation destination.”

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The Stepping Up Stewardship Toolkit can be found at http://www.steppingupstewardship.org. For more information about Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, visit http://www.voc.org.