Vail Daily column: Eagle Valley Land Trust aids conservation efforts
The ECO Trails program of Eagle County government is working to complete a paved trail system from Glenwood Canyon to Vail Pass including a connection to Red Cliff. This sizeable mission is a group effort of all of the communities along the way including Gypsum, Eagle, Avon, Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff and Eagle County, plus a dedicated group of citizen volunteers and a program staff person. The ECO Trails program was created in 1996 following the passage of a half-percent sales tax to finance mass transportation improvements in Eagle County. Ten percent of the revenues from that tax were designated for the development of a trails system. The remaining 90 percent of the tax is dedicated to the ECO transit program. The Eagle Valley Trail will total 63 miles upon completion and 33 miles are completed. The cost to complete the remaining system miles is estimated at $12 million and ECO Trails leverages the sales tax revenues with grants, donations and other contributions. Additionally, the program hosts special events to encourage and celebrate biking and walking and is involved with local and regional advocacy efforts for shared road and backcountry trail improvements in Eagle County.
Editor’s note: This column, submitted by Vail Resorts, showcases the nonprofits that the company supports through its Vail Resorts Echo program.
Our land is one of the most precious resources we have here in our Colorado mountain community. Our mountains, valleys, forests and meadows provide multiple benefits, including the outdoor recreational opportunities we all enjoy are worthy of protection and conservation. The local protector and defender of our land is the Eagle Valley Land Trust.
The Eagle Valley Land Trust preserves the character of our community one acre at a time by conserving the special places that people love in Eagle County. By using conservation easements to protect and save our land, the Land Trust preserves scenic views, precious landscapes, historic lands, open spaces, waterways and wildlife habitats for the benefit of the people of our community.
The Land Trust is proud to have Vail Resorts Echo as a partner in environmental conservation and stewardship. The Echo program strongly supports our organization and land conservation mission by providing financial assistance to our programs, volunteer hours for our projects and community leadership in environmental protection. Vail Resorts’ commitment to our local environment and to local land conservation is unparalleled. We thank Vail Resorts Echo for their ongoing commitment to our lands.
Through the support and contributions made by Vail Resorts along with our multitude of individual, small business and foundation investors throughout Eagle County and the Central Rocky Mountains, the Eagle Valley Land Trust has permanently conserved and protected forever more than 7,000 acres of local land for the benefit of the people of our community. Together, we are making a difference in land conservation.
Kara Heide is the executive director of the Eagle Valley Land Trust. Through Vail Resorts Echo, Vail Resorts hopes to connect its communities to its efforts — from on the ground conservation programs to grants for local schools. Aimed at both protecting the natural resources that surround the resorts and helping build stronger communities where its employees live and work, Vail Resorts Echo encompasses three core efforts: environmental stewardship, charitable giving and community engagement. Learn more at http://www.vailresortsecho.com.