The Leave No Trace (LNT) Center for Outdoor Ethics focuses on educating people - our most valuable resources for initiating change - to protect the outdoors by providing them with invaluable skills, knowledge, and resources.
LNT’s Hot Spot Program, which was created to address severe impacts in areas associated with heavy use, identifies these areas across the country and provides a site-specific blend of programs aimed at a healthy and sustainable recovery. Since 2010, Leave No Trace has conducted over 100 Hot Spots in national parks and forests, state parks, city parks and more. The intended outcome for each selected Hot Spot is to strengthen stewardship efforts by empowering stakeholders, land managers, volunteers, and outdoor enthusiasts through Leave No Trace education.
The City of Colorado Springs Parks System was selected as a Hot Spot location for 2021. A recent study of Colorado Springs parks, trails and open spaces labeled the users in our area “ultra users,” due to the frequency at which they visit these spaces. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Team visited Colorado Springs Regional Parks to lead a variety of workshops, outreach programs and community events, including opportunities for community involvement with RMFI.
RMFI successfully hosted two volunteer stewardship days in partnership with Leave No Trace and the City of Colorado Springs at both Stratton Open Space and Palmer Park. These particular areas were selected due to the similar nature of the issues they are experiencing, including pet management/waste issues, trail erosion, and social/rogue trails.
The first day, our team of 7 volunteers and 3 RMFI staff headed to Palmer Park, which sits in the northeast corner of Colorado Springs. They completed close to 300 square feet of armored tread, built 6 rock stairs and 3 drains, which accounted for approximately 6 tons of rock moved in just 4 hours!
On day two, a separate team of 14 volunteers and 5 RMFI staff were able to restore 2,100 linear feet of trail, planting a whopping 35 pounds of native plant seed to revegetate the area at Stratton Open Space located on the southwest side of Colorado Springs.
We want to give a special thanks to all of the partners who helped make Hot Spot week possible, including:
Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
Leave No Trace Center
Guardians of Palmer Park
Aiken Audubon Society
"Hiking Bob" Falcone
Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates
Red Leg Brewing
Manitou Springs Brewing
And many more!
If you missed this opportunity to give back to your community’s trails and open spaces, don’t fret! You can still get involved in the coming months (and beyond), by committing to responsible recreation and following the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. You can also participate in a few upcoming events that focus on trail maintenance, including the Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC)’s “Scoop the Poop” Challenge! If you have questions on how to support your local parks or if you’d like to get involved with RMFI as a volunteer or otherwise, drop us a line at [email protected] or visit our website at RMFI.org to learn more! Let’s spread the love, responsibly.