Pulaskis, pick axes and rock bars, oh my! These are just a few of the tools Garfield County PREP interns learn to use when they sign up to build, maintain and sometimes even deconstruct trails with Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers. In our quest to debunk the myth that there is nothing to do in the valley, PREP has partnered with RFOV to provide youth a community engagement opportunity while supporting the Young Stewards Initiative’s mission of creating a sense of stewardship in youth who grow up in an area surrounded by stunning public lands.
Living on the Western slope of the Colorado Rockies affords all kinds of outdoor opportunities for youth to explore. The problem is that barriers of many kinds can get in the way of accessing what is right at their fingertips. Often young people who live here do not fully understand their relationship to the land that surrounds them. This affords Garfield County PREP an awesome opportunity to connect our area’s youth to trails and outdoor spaces that they may otherwise not know about. Once they’ve had the experience of helping to build and maintain trails, they have a new appreciation which should translate in to increased use!
In return, RFOV supports PREP’s mission to connect youth with trusted adults. While they don’t anticipate they will necessarily be having sex-related conversations with their young stewards, the Youth Coordinator still chose to attend one of our adult workshops, Beyond the Birds and the Bees, to learn how to field questions and conversations in case something happens to come up through casual conversation. You never know what you might over hear when working with teens, and RFOV staff is genuine in their caring to be equipped with the proper tools in case they do.