Vail Daily column: Teaming up for conservation | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Teaming up for conservation

Jessica Foulis
Valley Voices

Eagle County is lucky to have many great organizations working to protect and improve our quality of life. At Eagle Valley Land Trust, we believe all ships rise together and teaming up with other organizations leverages our efforts for the good of the community. We are a small team of three staff, but with the help of our partners we can accomplish a lot. We are excited to be partnering with several organizations to conserve land and connect people to the outdoors. Thank you to all of our partners. We couldn't do it without you.

Future Conservationists

Children are our future, and conservation easements are forever. Conservation easements are legal documents which protect certain conservation values on a piece of land in perpetuity. This means we are protecting important places for our children, and we will be depending on them to continue to protect these places for years to come.

EVLT is working with organizations like Walking Mountains Science Center, SOS Outreach and Eagle Valley High School to connect youth to their conserved public open spaces. We join Walking Mountains summer camps out in the field to talk about the importance of conserving land. SOS Outreach and Eagle Valley High School are helping to complete restoration projects on conserved public land in partnership with Eagle County CSU Extension and Eagle County Open Space. If you are interested in participating in Future Conservationists, then please contact jfoulis@evlt.org.

Community Land Ambassadors

This year, EVLT is launching a new program to enlist the help of community members in monitoring public conserved parcels. We are looking for volunteers who love the outdoors to adopt an open space parcel. If you are interested in being trained as an ambassador or learning more about the program, then please contact jfoulis@evlt.org.

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Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement

EVLT is teaming up with several other organizations, led by Walking Mountains Science Center, for the Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement taking place in Edwards. The Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement is funded by the GOCO Inspire Initiative, intended to build coalitions to increase access to the outdoors for youth in our community. One focus is on improving walk-ability in Edwards, specifically western Edwards. Our goal is to connect Lake Creek Village and Eagle River Village to including Eagle River Preserve and Miller Ranch Open Space.

Legacy Festival Conservation Expo

Each year, as part of our annual Legacy Festival, we invite other conservation organizations to showcase the important work they are doing around the community. This year's Legacy Festival is May 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Brush Creek Pavilion in Eagle. We hope you will join us for Cow Patty Bingo and to check out the Conservation Expo to see what will be going on this summer with all of our partners.

Community Land Connection Hike Series

Each month we team up with another organization to lead a hike on a public parcel under conservation easement. This series is an opportunity to leverage local efforts to encourage people to appreciate and protect our beautiful home and the wildlife who lives here. Each hike is a chance to learn about Eagle County and ask questions of local experts.

Thank you to Phil Kirkman, the Eagle County open space ranger, for joining us to talk about open space and trails last week. Kirkman reminded us it is important to stay off wet trails in the spring to protect this public resource. The trails at Homestead L were a bit muddy, so we took our hike to Eagle River Preserve.

Our next hike is April 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Eagle River Preserve. We are partnering with Bill Andree, district wildlife ranger with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, to talk about living with elk. We hope you will join us.

If you have any questions about these programs, or would like to volunteer or team up with EVLT, then please contact jfoulis@evlt.org.

Jessica Foulis is Eagle Valley Land Trust's stewardship and outreach manager. Eagle Valley Land Trust was founded in 1981 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental conservation organization and is state certified and nationally accredited. The mission of the land trust is to protect forever our scenic vistas, open spaces, historic lands, waterways and wildlife habitats represent the uniqueness of Eagle County, Colorado and the Central Rocky Mountains for the education, enjoyment and benefit of people who experience this special place.

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