Column: Cherishing our favorite places, like the Eagle River Preserve | VailDaily.com

Column: Cherishing our favorite places, like the Eagle River Preserve

Jim Daus
Trust our Land

This month, the Eagle Valley Land Trust held its biggest fundraiser of the year, and friends and supporters of land conservation here in Eagle County gathered for an evening of dinner, drinks and dancing under the moonshine.

Eagle Valley Land Trust is grateful for the community support and collaboration that make our mission a reality. When members of this community ask us what we do, or how they can become involved, we encourage folks to start by familiarizing themselves with the conserved parcels we help protect and enjoy the public access and recreation that our conservation easements afford them.

There is perhaps no better example of land that was preserved through the collaboration of this community, and more appreciated and enjoyed, than the Eagle River Preserve. At 72 total acres, and bordered by a beautiful half-mile stretch of the Eagle River on the north, many have come to think of the preserve as our community's own Central Park.

This property is special to many of us because of its beauty, easy access and rich history. Thanks to the vision of longtime resident Harry Frampton, collaboration of the Vail Valley Foundation and Eagle County and tremendous contributions of this community, it will forever remain green space for residents — human and wildlife alike — to enjoy.

Resident Nate Goldberg, product manager of the Beaver Creek Nordic center and an avid hiker, said he and his family cherish this special place.

"Being an Eagle County resident for more than 25 years and an Edwards resident for the past 10-plus years, one tends to have their favorite 'best-kept secrets,'" Goldberg said. "For my family and me, the preserve is one of those secrets.

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"Just minutes away by car, bike or foot, the scenic and historic Eagle River runs through it. Hiking and biking trails abound. We love to hike down to the river and skip rocks, float branches or look for those ever-elusive fairy caves. It is such a wonderful way to expose my children, ages 6 (Olivia) and 9 (Luca), to the beauty of a river habitat such as the preserve.

"I am so grateful for what the Land Trust has done and continues to do in our ever-changing Eagle County. Our favorite time to visit the preserve is in the autumn, when the leaves are changing, the air is crisp and the sun shimmers off the Eagle River. The Eagle River Preserve is a real treasure, and just minutes from downtown Edwards."

The Eagle Valley Land Trust cannot thank this community enough for its role in making possible the permanent conservation of Eagle River Preserve and other cherished lands. And we are grateful to our friend and talented photographer John Dakin, who can be spotted at the Preserve, capturing its beauty and especially its wildlife inhabitants, in all of their splendor.

Jim Daus is the executive director of the Eagle Valley Land Trust.