The Wheat Ridge Greenbelt has been selected as a 2023 Spotlight site through the Leave No Trace organization. As outdoor areas all over the country are being impacted by record use, this new initiative from Leave No Trace shines a light on communities rising to meet this challenge with multi-day, onsite education and stewardship programs. From June 15-17, a Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Team will be in Wheat Ridge with Wheat Ridge Parks & Recreation to work with the community and local land agencies to deliver Leave No Trace education as well as to partner on restoration and stewardship projects.
“The Spotlight initiative highlights the great steps a community can take to protect an area that they cherish,” according to Dana Watts, the Executive Director of Leave No Trace. This year, the Airbnb Community Fund has made this program possible through a generous grant. Watts continues, “the three-day Spotlight features workshops for stakeholders and Leave No Trace education for the public at large. It also will include opportunities for the community and our Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Team, who will be there conducting the initiative, to roll up their sleeves together at the Spotlight site and get some work done.”
Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker said, "during the pandemic many folks embraced the healing power of time in nature. Like other parks and open spaces, the Wheat Ridge Greenbelt has seen an increase in the number of visitors. The Leave No Trace Spotlight gives us an opportunity to educate our visitors on methods to minimize their impact while enjoying the Greenbelt. We are excited to partner with Leave No Trace on this endeavor".
The following events are free and open to the public, all ages are encouraged to attend. For more information visit the Leave No Trace Website
Thursday, June 15: Community Outreach, Anderson Park trailhead between 1 and 3 p.m. for Leave No Trace education. From 5:30-7:30 p.m., stop by New Image Brewing at 9505 W 44th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033, to enjoy a brew, play trivia and earn prizes, and learn more about Leave No Trace!
Friday, June 16: Community Outreach, Prospect Park pavilion between 9 and 11:30 a.m. for Leave No Trace education. Pickleball players can also participate in a prize-winning tournament during this time.
Saturday, June 17th: Stewardship Event, Prospect Park for a wildflower planting stewardship event from 8 to 11 a.m. The event will begin with introductions from the Leave No Trace Team and Mayor Starker, will then transition into the wildflower planting, and will end with a free snow cone to cool down! Please sign up to volunteer in advance.
About Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation
For 50 years, Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation has been committed to offering quality parks and recreational opportunities to the community. The City of Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation Department is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies for excellence in operation and service, and Wheat Ridge is a “Tree City USA”. Services provided include aquatics, athletics, fitness and wellness, enrichment programs, camps, special events, therapeutic recreation and more. The Department maintains 20 parks on approximately 173 acres, three recreation facilities, 300 acres of open space, seven miles of trails and a community garden.
About Leave No Trace
Using the power of science and research, education for all, and stewardship to support and protect nature, Leave No Trace is on a mission to ensure a sustainable future for the outdoors and the planet. The Spotlight program is the newest education offering from Leave No Trace. Additional support for 2023 Spotlights comes from the Airbnb Community Fund. Learn more at: www.LNT.org