COLORADO – The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) was recognized by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) this month as their “Partner of the Year.” CDTC was recognized for their collaboration with VOC in training Continental Divide Trail maintainers through the Outdoor Stewardship Institute training program.
Originally created in partnership with several organizations, VOC’s Outdoor Stewardship Institute (OSI) provides in-depth training courses that teach topics such as volunteer leadership, trail design and maintenance, first aid, and other critical skills for stewarding our public lands. Using the recently-developed “Independent Stewardship for Trails” curriculum, CDTC and VOC worked together to train more than 60 new Continental Divide Trail (CDT) adopters in Colorado throughout 2018.
“Adopters are critical to our work to protect and maintain the CDT,” said Morgan Anderson, field programs manager for the CDTC. “The CDT is over 3,000 miles long, and we have a staff of less than 10. Without these dedicated volunteers and committed partners like VOC, there’s no way we could ever hope to maintain the trail to our standards.”
Once they have received training from CDTC, trail adopters take on their very own section of the CDT, pledging to scout and maintain it at least twice a year. The adopters trained in partnership with VOC this year will be in charge of maintaining over 200 miles of the CDT in Colorado.
Awarded annually to a VOC partner organization for outstanding collaboration and continued dedication to outdoor stewardship, the award was presented to CDTC Executive Director Teresa Martinez.
“We are thrilled to be recognized as VOC’s Partner of the Year,” said Martinez. “Through utilizing the OSI curriculum, we’ve been able to build the skills and leadership capacity of CDT volunteers. Thanks in large part to partnerships like this one, more than half of the CDT has been adopted since we started the program in 2014.”
VOC worked with CDTC over the last year to help train trail adopters in communities including Grand County, Steamboat Springs, South Fork and Idaho Springs to not only care for the CDT, but also to help ensure many different recreational resources in Colorado stay well maintained and accessible.
To learn more about how you can help maintain Colorado’s trails, including the Continental Divide Trail, visit voc.org/get-involved or continentaldividetrail.org/volunteering-with-the-cdtc/.
The CDT is one of the world’s premiere long-distance trails, stretching 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. Designated by Congress in 1978, the CDT is the highest, most challenging and most remote of the 11 National Scenic Trails. It provides recreational opportunities ranging from hiking to horseback riding to hunting for thousands of visitors each year. While 95% of the CDT is located on public land, approximately 150 miles are still in need of protection.
The CDTC was founded in 2012 by volunteers and recreationists hoping to provide a unified voice for the Trail. Working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal land management agencies, the CDTC is a non-profit partner supporting stewardship of the CDT. The mission of the CDTC is to complete, promote and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, a world-class national resource. For more information, please visit continentaldividetrail.org.
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is the state’s oldest, largest, and leading outdoor stewardship nonprofit organization. Founded in 1984 to motivate and enable people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources, VOC has engaged nearly 120,000 people in more than 1,000 volunteer projects for a donated labor value of $24 million. Through award-winning youth and volunteer programs, leadership training, capacity-building programs, and collaborative efforts with nonprofits and land management agencies, VOC is an invaluable resource in Colorado, especially as our outdoor stewardship needs are approaching near-crisis levels. For more information, visit www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.