Last week, RMFI and our partners in the Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training (PPRCLT) program hosted a season-ending party in celebration of our volunteer Crew Leader base and the great work they have accomplished in 2018. The gathering served to bring our region's trained Crew Leaders and Friends Groups all together in one place and featured prizes for all Crew Leaders, complimentary food and drinks courtesy of our hosts at Trails End Taproom, and year-end remarks from Scott Abbott, the Regional Parks, Trails, and Open Space Supervisor with the City of Colorado Springs Parks Department. The party marked the end of the 7th year of the PPRCLT program.
PPRCLT is an educational program designed to empower motivated community members with the skills and opportunities to lead safe and effective volunteer projects within our region’s parks and open spaces. It is implemented through a partnership between RMFI, the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department, Friends of the Peak, and the Trails and Open Space Coalition.
In 2010, severe budget cuts within the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department necessitated an increase in citywide volunteer engagement initiatives largely focused on basic trail maintenance. At the time, many local “Friends Groups” were willing to take on these additional responsibilities, but were challenged by a shortage of trained crew leaders to help lead the projects. The PPRCLT was debuted in 2012, and is designed to comprehensively address this issue and strong community desire.
The program begins with an intensive weekend-long course held at the beginning of each field season. The course covers skills in technical trail and restoration practices as well as group management and leadership. Following the course, participants obtain an official certification by co-leading projects under the supervision of expert Crew Leaders and/or professional RMFI field staff. Certified Crew Leaders are able to help lead fellow volunteers on workdays at local parks and open spaces, significantly helping to increase the capacity of full-time stewardship groups like RMFI as well as local, regional, and state land management agencies to engage more volunteers, further leverage resources, and have greater on-the-ground impact. Since the program's inception, approximately 225 Crew Leaders have been trained through the PPRCLT, many of whom continue to actively lead critical local projects.
We would like to give a huge shoutout and congratulations to the PPRCLT class of 2018. Thirty-one trainees participated in this past year's training. They represented a variety of trail groups including the Academy Riding Stables, the City Parks Department, El Paso County Parks Department, the Colorado Mountain Club - Pikes Peak Group, Friends of Cheyenne Cañon, Friends of Monument Preserve, Friends of the Peak, Friends of Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Friends of Ute Valley Park, Guardians of Palmer Park, the Manitou Trail CATS, and Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates.
Please join us in welcoming these members to the Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader family!
Summer Adelbush Vance Hewuse Mike Oroszi
Rand Ancell Anton Jacobs Robert Rimmer
Genevieve Armstrong Jeffrey Johnson Cregor Rodriguez
Glenn Barr Rasha Kathrein Marc Schendzielos
Laura Booth Sam Kibler Ryan Stacklin
Curt Brasier Isaiah Litzell Steven Sueppel
Alex Cole Robert Lomenick Jennifer Sullivan
Emily Duncan Robert Lucey Graham Thompson
Ben Fisk Laura Mallory Kevin Wood
Art Fuellenbach Brady McPeak
Anna Garlick Brian Mullin
Are YOU interested in taking your volunteering to the next level? Learn more about the Pikes Peak Regional Crew Leader Training program at THIS LINK. 2019 training dates will be released in the early part of the new year. Stay tuned!