About three years ago I was on a trail run with my dogs. I stood on a ridge at Devil's Backbone Open Space and I took stock of how lucky I was to be standing there on such a great piece of land. Then I thought about the other great views, hikes, walks, runs and mountain bike adventures I had enjoyed on various other open space areas in the city and county where I live. I've also enjoyed open space areas in several other Colorado counties.
It was on that take-stock run that I said to myself, "If you want to be sure open space, beautiful vistas and trails remain a part of where you live - get involved."
The process began by simply paying attention to meetings and news items involving open space issues for the city and county. The more I dug into it, the more I realized how much work had been put into open space issues. People had worked for years to acquire land and preserve the land for generations to come. Some spaces do not allow public access, while other spaces create a trail system so people can recreate while minimizing impact to the land.
I wanted to become part of the process to preserve land for generations to come.
Fast forward to late last year. I applied for and was appointed to the Open Lands Advisory Commission (OLAC) for the City of Loveland. I have been on OLAC for just under a year and I have barely scratched the surface of learning about open lands issues.
When I had the opportunity to attend a few sessions for the Colorado Open Space Alliance conference held in Estes Park this week, I took advantage of the opportunity. I'll write more about that in another blog.
Do you enjoy open space? Is there an open space program in your city? Can you get involved at some level to preserve open space? Here are some ideas:
Trail day maintenance volunteer (pick axes, giant rakes and earth moving)
Trail volunteer ranger or interpreter
Donate to the cause
Attend a meeting on open space issues
Volunteer for an open space project
Become involved in a citizen commission
Do you have a favorite open space photo? Share it by posting it along with a comment below.