Vail Daily column: Eagle Valley Land Trust hosts hike series | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Eagle Valley Land Trust hosts hike series

Although I have deep family roots in Colorado, I have returned here after growing up in Virginia. One of the main reasons I have made Eagle County my home for the past eight years is I love the scenic vistas and public open space available for outdoor recreation. My love for the land is what drew me to work for Eagle Valley Land Trust as the stewardship and outreach manager. At Eagle Valley Land Trust, we realize land conservation is a big job — we are very grateful for all of our wonderful community partners working to protect and conserve our beautiful home.

Eagle Valley Land Trust works with local partners to protect land forever through a tool called a conservation easement. A conservation easement is a legal document which protects land forever.

Enjoy our local space

Two-thirds of the property Eagle Valley Land Trust holds under conservation easement is free and open to the public. Spending time in natural places can improve your health and happiness. Our goal is to get people out enjoying their local open space. If you appreciate open space in your community, then we hope you will enjoy your public land and will in turn help us protect land in perpetuity.

This series provides an opportunity to appreciate and protect our beautiful home and the wildlife living here. Each hike is an opportunity to learn about Eagle County and ask questions of local experts.

What do you enjoy doing outside? Visit our website http://www.evlt.org/places to find a public conservation easement near you. Our website has a helpful guide to match the right land parcel with your desired activity.

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Eagle Valley Land Trust is excited to announce our Community Land Connection Series in collaboration with our conservation partners throughout Eagle County. Each month we team up with another organization to lead a hike on an Eagle County Open Space parcel under conservation easement. This series provides an opportunity to appreciate and protect our beautiful home and the wildlife living here. Each hike is an opportunity to learn about Eagle County and ask questions of local experts.

Monthly hikes

Looking for a way to enjoy your local public conservation easement? Join Eagle Valley Land Trust and our community partners to explore conserved lands throughout Eagle County. Each month, we will lead a nature hike on a different public conservation easement in Eagle County. Hikes will be Friday afternoons, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and will focus on a unique theme relevant to each location. Hikes are free and open to the public. We will hike in variable conditions. Come prepared to spend two hours outside with sun protection, water, proper layers for Colorado weather, sturdy waterproof shoes, snowshoes or Yaktrax, trekking poles if desired and a lunch to enjoy on the trail. Hikes are weather dependent; please check EVLT's Facebook page on the day of the hike for information if there is inclement weather.

Looking to get involved?

The lineup for the remainder of winter has been confirmed as follows:

Friday: Living With Colorado's Wildlife: Mountain Lions. Miller Mountain Ranch Open Space in Edwards with Peter Suneson, Walking Mountains Science Center community outreach coordinator. Meet in the June Creek Elementary School parking lot.

March 17: Open Space and You: Sustainable Trails. Meet at Homestead Conservation and Public Recreation Project in Edwards with Philip Kirkman, Eagle County Open Space ranger.

April 21: Living With Colorado's Wildlife: Elk. Eagle River Preserve in Edwards with Bill Andree, Colorado Parks and Wildlife district wildlife ranger.

We hope to see you on the trail enjoying your local open space. Please email jfoulis @evlt.org for more information and to reserve your spot.

In the past, we have partnered with other wonderful groups such as Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Eagle River Watershed Council, town of Vail and Eagle County Historical Society. Stay tuned for more hikes as we confirm our summer schedule. If you are an organization who would enjoy partnering with the series, then please email jfoulis@evlt.org or call Jessica Foulis at 970-748-7654. We are looking forward to building new relationships — as well as fostering old ones — through this series. Thank you to everyone out there working to enjoy and protect the land.

Eagle Valley Land Trust is a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to preserve land for people and wildlife forever. If you have questions about what we do or would like to get involved, then check out our website, http://www.evlt.org, call 970-748-7654 or email jfoulis@evlt.org.

Jessica Foulis is the stewardship and outreach manager for Eagle Valley Land Trust. When she's not working to protect land in perpetuity, you can find her out on a river with her husband and her dog.

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