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Leave no trace with these hiking tips

As the snow melts and the trails dry out, many people are excited to hike around and get closer to nature’s display of flora and fauna. Although hiking seems pretty simple, the Colorado Tourism Office and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics wants to make sure that everyone is enjoying the outdoors while also following a set of principles aimed at guiding travelers to show care for the state’s water, land and wildlife while helping protect special Colorado places.

The goal of the Leave No Trace Seven Principles is to encourage the state’s 82 million visitors to be active stewards of Colorado’s precious natural resources and cultural artifacts. Locally, Walking Mountains Science Center promotes the Leave No Trace Seven Principles on all their hikes as a way to teach newcomers and remind experienced hikers what is appropriate out on the trail.

Here’s a look at the seven principles:

1. Know Before You Go

  • Our state and federal agencies manage 42 percent of Colorado’s majestic landscape. Learn about and respect the spaces we all own and share.
  • Find your way to less-visited and off-peak destinations to minimize down time and maximize your connection with special places.
  • Bring along reusable water bottles to limit waste and stay hydrated.

2. Stick To Trails

  • With 39,000 marked trails and 13,000 designated campsites, there’s no need to venture beyond. By sticking to these areas and camping at least 200 feet from lakes, rivers and streams, you’re helping natural areas stay natural.
  • Please don’t take shortcuts. Stay on designated paths.

3. Trash the Trash

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Put litter, even crumbs, peels and cores in your nearest waste/recycling bin, and if there aren’t any nearby, hang onto it until you see one, which might not be until you’ve completed your hike.
  • Wash yourself, your dog, etc., at least 200 feet from waterways, and use biodegradable soap to protect aquatic life. 

4. Leave It As You Find It

  • Leave plants, rocks and historical items as you find them so others experience the joy of discovery.
  • Any of our 750 different species of wildflowers will live forever in a photo. Please do not pick the flowers.
  • Colorado is beautiful all on its own. Building structures or campsites on public land isn’t cool. Keep it pristine for everyone to enjoy.
  • Treat all living things with respect. Carving or hacking plants and trees may kill or disfigure them. 

5. Be Careful With Fire

  • Keep campfires small and manageable to avoid sparking wildfires.
  • When putting out a fire, water it until you can handle the embers. Never let a fire burn unattended.
  • Use care when smoking. Always put cigarettes out completely, and don’t leave your butts behind.

6. Keep Wildlife Wild

  • Colorado is home to tens of thousands of furry, scaly and feathered creatures. To keep them – and you – safe, don’t approach them.
  • Please do not feed wild animals. You could alter natural behaviors, exposing them to predators or even possible euthanasia.
  • Keep your furry buddies leashed when enjoying dog-friendly trails, and pack out their waste, all the way to a trashcan.

7. Share Our Trails and Parks

  • Chances are you’re not out in nature to people watch, so try out the lesser-known paths and sites.
  • Silence your cell phone before stepping into nature, and speak softly without using the speaker function.
  • Be considerate when passing others on the trails and yield to the uphill hiker and biker – they need the momentum.
  • Listen to nature. Keep your voice and music soft so all can enjoy the peace of Colorado.

Learn more about the Leave No Trace Care for Colorado Principles on www.Colorado.com.

Fun and games at Heart & Sole benefit for Starting Hearts (sponsored)

Did you realize that we have more than 400 Automated Electronic Defibrillators, which is the highest per capita in the nation, right here in Eagle County? It’s all due to the hard work and dedication of Starting Hearts, a local non profit whose mission is to save precious lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through education and CPR training and by placing Automated External Defibrillators in key locations throughout Eagle County.

Their Heart & Sole event is this Saturday, August 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and aims to not only entertain but to educate. Live music, face painting and a bounce house for the kids along with a healthy lunch will be served, but there will also be free CPR lessons in their signature Heart Rod Bus and a one-mile, 3k and a 5k run/walk led by Josiah Middaugh. Middaugh is an 8-time Xterra World Champion triathlete and although he is the image of health, he knows no one is immune to sudden cardiac arrest.

“I was looking to align myself with a charitable organization and after learning more I decided to team up with Starting Hearts,” Middaugh said. “The connection between some of the athletes who I have been close to who have died from sudden cardiac arrest and what Starting Hearts does kind of hit home. It’s a way to have a really big impact. To save one life is an amazing thing.”

Since the organization began 8 years ago, their mission to educate has spread. “We teach like crazy, we do free CPR classes anytime, anywhere for anyone who wants and I think we’ve trained over 16,000 here in Eagle County,” said Alan Himelfarb, executive director of Starting Hearts.

In addition to the fun and games at Ford Park ball fields, The Great Town of Vail Defibrillator Scavenger Hunt will take participants all over town. Registered teams will have 90 minutes to locate public access defibrillators and the top teams to locate the most will win prizes. The first place team will win a complete $2,195 Philips OnSite defibrillator package.

For more information, visit www.startinghearts.org.

First friday

The Vail Valley Art Guild invites one and all to attend our “First Friday” Reception on March 2, at 5:30 to 8 p.m., located at 1 Lake Street, Avon (in the former Avon Police Station). In addition to our featured “March Madness” exhibit, we will be showcasing fine art from our new Guild President, Andrew Pranger. Our famous Treasure Chest room will also contain original art, photographs and ceramics for less than $100.

Charity Disc golf

The prominent disc golf club of Eagle County, the Flying Eagle Disc Society, will once again be hosting a charity disc golf event at Hole in the Sky Disc Golf Course. The Eagle County Ice Bowl, held Sunday, March 4, will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds to Food Rescue Express. Food Rescue Express provides weekends of meals for low-income elementary age students in Eagle County. This is a one round random draw doubles style event for all skill levels with many novelty holes. Day of registration is available for $30 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Come support the kids of Eagle County.

Support independent Film

The Breckenridge Film Festival’s annual fundraiser is coming up on March 4 – Academy Awards Night – and aside from being an opportunity to enjoy a chic night out to view the awards on the big screen, it’s also a chance to land a next-generation computer designed for creatives.

In tandem with what guests deem one of the best silent auctions in the county, the Breck Film Fest is hosting an online auction for the HP ZBook x2 Detachable Workstation, donated by HP Workstations in Fort Collins. With a detachable screen that remains connected by Bluetooth to the keyboard, the ZBook also is one of the most responsive computers on the market for stylus drawing, making it a perfect fit for any creative, from artist to architect to engineer to photographer, filmmaker or graphic designer. Tickets to the event are available at breckfilmfest.org. The online auction is live now until noon on March 6 at bit.ly/BFFHPZbook.

Help needed

Vail Symposium could use your help. Vail Symposium is looking for volunteers who would like to be part of our educational programs. It is a great way to contribute to our community and learn about hot topic subjects. Please give us a call if you like to volunteer at 970-476-0954.

Vail Symposium’s mission is to provide educational programs that are thought-provoking, diverse and affordable. True to that mission, over the past decade, the Symposium has offered more educational programs to more members of our community than almost any other organization in the valley.

Vail Daily Town Talk: Love Notes

On Valentine’s Day, the Vail Daily will publish our popular Valentine “Love Notes.” This year the first 20 words are free for each note when you use our web form to place the note. Just go to vaildaily.com/valentine for more info or to place your note. Or for a small fee you can call it in at 970-845-9937 or email it to classifieds@vaildaily.com The deadline is Feb. 13 at 4:30 p.m.

Vail Daily Town Talk: What’s the Commotion All About?

We know you’ve been curious what all the commotion at the Inn at Riverwalk has been about. Now, we invite you to see the renovation for yourself. Don’t miss the ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the event. Enjoy a glass of wine, sample appetizers from local restaurants and tour the property. Bring your business card to enter our raffle for a free one-night stay. Experience the Inn at Riverwalk for yourself, or pass your prize to friends or family. Why should the humans have all the fun? The Inn at Riverwalk is pet friendly. We would love to meet your furry friend at our locals open house as well.

Vail Daily Town Talk: Warren Miller Tribute Nights

On Monday, Jan. 29, The Blue Starlite Cinema Social will continue hosting a multinight tribute film series event for Warren Miller at 9 p.m. The final tribute night will be held Wednesday, Jan. 31. Warren Miller’s impact spans even further than the nearly 1,200 columns, 11 books and over 500 films he produced. He leaves a legacy of humor, adventure and freedom. We want to hear about your experiences of the man who was able to pack so much into one lifetime. Send your Warren Miller stories to Randy Wyrick at rwyrick@vaildaily.com. For more information visit, facebook.com/events/839256312928668??ti=ia.

Welcome Freshman

Battle Mountain High School presents an incoming freshman showcase on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 5:50 p.m. for an evening to see Battle Mountain School advantage. Come see what academic rigor, athletic prowess, rich diversity and active involvement means to the school. Escuela Preparatoria Battle Mountain. Presentacion para alumnos entrantes, Miércoles 7 de febrero, 2018 a las 5:30 p.m. Vengan y participen de una velada para conocer las ventajas de la Escueal Preparatoria Battle Mountain. Exigencia academica, destrezas atleticas, gran diversidad y mucha participacion.