Vail Daily column: Eagle Valley Land Trust hosts Legacy Festival | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Eagle Valley Land Trust hosts Legacy Festival

With summer in full swing, locals and visitors alike are enjoying many activities in our beautiful high country setting. We are fortunate to have access just out our back doors to hiking, camping, rafting, fishing, biking and so many more activities. Understanding that the natural environment in Eagle County is what draws visitors and residents who choose to live here, one can appreciate the importance of maintaining the integrity of our mountains and streams. We also have an ethical responsibility to manage our resources and preserve enough natural habitat that our ecosystems remain intact to support future generations.

Landowners who have chosen to forever conserve their land by working with the land trust maintain important habitats, vistas and heritage in and around Eagle County. They carefully maintain the beauty and vitality of the land under their care by mitigating invasive plants and weeds, maintaining trail networks, conserving soil fertility and more. Their efforts benefit us all as we enjoy the pristine landscapes and habitats which thrive under their care. By protecting agricultural lands, we are fortunate to have a glimpse into our community's ranching heritage while also ensuring the rural character of our community and its ability to provide locally sourced foods for future generations.

LASTING BENEFITS

We all desire to care for our natural surroundings and to set an example for how to care for the land that sustains us. The work we all do today in caring for our mountains, valleys and streams will have lasting benefits tomorrow. Every day, individuals and organizations dedicated to protecting our land, air and water work hard to take care of our natural environment. Whether participating in an organized trail cleanup or picking up a piece of loose trash on the trail, we all play a role in taking care of our land. By committing to steward our land and rivers, we can preserve the character of our community for future generations and ensure our children and grandchildren can enjoy the same natural beauty from which we benefit each day.

Taking actions that make this community a better place for future generations is a collective effort — we deserve to celebrate! As part of Eagle Valley Land Trust's commitment to all our partners in conservation, Eagle Valley Land Trust is hosting the conservation-themed Legacy Festival presented by Vail Resorts EpicPromise on Aug. 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. in Eagle Town Park. The theme is "Together, we are all making a difference." In the spirit of celebration and collaboration, we have invited all local nonprofits, agencies and businesses that have conservation in their mission and business plans to celebrate our community's efforts toward making this place even better in the future. We also have invited all the landowners with whom the land trust has partnered to forever conserve their property.

We are excited these important partners in conservation will be highlighting their work and accomplishments. Come learn what each contributes to the betterment of our unique mountain home. Learn from R.A. Nelson, Vail Resorts, Vail Honeywagon, the Eagle County Open Space Department, Walking Mountains, Eagle River Watershed Council, 4-H and many others about the great things our community is doing to conserve and improve our natural environment, provide local food production and provide recreational opportunities for us and for future generations. Explore and celebrate how you too can leave a legacy of conservation.

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At the Eagle Valley Land Trust Legacy Festival, enjoy the conservation festival, fun and games for the whole family, music by Hardscrabble, beer by Bonfire Brewing and great food. The main event is the highly anticipated return of Cow Patty Bingo, and the addition of Bah-Bah Bingo! For $20, buy your very own deed to a bingo square which could win you the grand prize. If ol' Bessie (the cow) or ol' Boo (the sheep) make a "deposit" on your square, then you win a bike from Mountain Pedaler, or $1,000 and a two-night stay in Vail thanks to Gemini Resorts Management. All proceeds support land conservation, ensuring current and future generations can benefit from our dedication to the care of our land.

Eagle Valley Land Trust's mission is to preserve forever our scenic vistas, open spaces, historic lands, waterways and wildlife habitats that represent the uniqueness of Eagle County and the central Rocky Mountains for the enjoyment, education and benefit of all people who live in this special place. Remember that we all protect our land for the benefit of future generations as much as our own. What will be your legacy? Together, we are all making a difference, and we invite you to celebrate with all our partners at the Legacy Festival.

Tom Wessel is Eagle Valley Land Trust's communications and outreach manager.