Mission: Mission: To foster a community spirit of shared responsibility for the stewardship and restoration of public, protected, and ecologically important lands.
Results: WRV volunteers have completed over 766 stewardship projects and more than 18 leadership development trainings. The events involved over 4,432 volunteer leadership roles, 34,163 volunteer attendances, 3,129 trainees, and the in-kind contribution of $8.3 million in labor and expertise to Colorado’s natural heritage. WRV volunteers helped repair trails and stabilize streambanks and watersheds from the devastating floods of 2013, the Fourmile Canyon Fire, and the High Park Fire, thus protecting homes and lives from repeat flooding and mudslides in the Big Thompson and St. Vrain watersheds. Streambank and watershed stabilization also reduced the introduction of costly new noxious weed populations, protected water quality, and stopped or slowed rapid erosion. At a wide variety of sites, from urban greenways to ranching easements on the plains, to high alpine areas which were eroded by over-recreation, volunteers planted over 300,000 native plants and trees. The benefits include rebuilding topsoil; preventing erosion; improving water quality; providing shade to residents and recreationists; improving wildlife habitat; stopping or reversing establishment of noxious weeds, which are expensive to treat and damage crop value for nearby producers; and even improving the view. Working with land managers, WRV volunteers have closed and re-vegetated over 163,489 ft of habitat-fragmenting closed/unused roads. This effort helped restore water quality (dirt roads dump sediment into streams during runoff, hurting fish and municipal water filtration equipment), wildlife populations (roads provide easy access to poachers and predators, an unfair advantage that reduces survival rates), and rural residents who sustainably hunt or enjoy wildlife watching as part of their quality of life. WRV volunteers have restored over 58.8 acres of wetland across multiple counties. Because wetlands are foundational to our water resources in this arid region, and are vital to the health of our communities and waterways, volunteer efforts helped support wetlands’ crucial functions, such as: the trapping of floodwaters, recharging groundwater, removing pollution, feeding downstream waterways, and driving the economy due to their provision of fish and wildlife habitat. Time spent in nature provides demonstrated mental health benefits, especially for children. WRV’s volunteer efforts and Youth & Inclusiveness Program have helped Colorado children both individually and generally, by maintaining open space and trails where they can explore the outdoors, and by helping educate them and introduce them to these areas individually to help create healthy, responsible, active habits to last a lifetime. WRV volunteers have completed over 45.6 mi. of trail work, supporting recreational outlets and healthy commuting options, and provided over 2,533 hrs of youth stewardship education to diverse youth. Read more about the benefits of WRV's work in our newsletter at http://wlrv.org
Target demographics: foster a community spirit of shared responsibility for the stewardship and restoration of public, protected, and ecologically important lands
Geographic areas served: Colorado and southern Wyoming
Programs: completing 80+ ecological restoration projects on public lands each year; build a community of land stewards; train and mentor youth and adult volunteer leaders; monitor results of restoration work and contribute knowledge to the restoration community.