COVID-19 Pandemic Response & Resources
COVID-19 Pandemic Update
Monday, June 15th, 2020
We know you’re all itching to get out and volunteer, and we are itching to have you! We have conducted a couple “staff super-crew” projects this June, so we can practice how a trail project will look in the new, “covid era.” We have been practicing staying 6 feet apart, we have worn masks while working, and we have griped with the hardest task: no sharing tools. This one will be a little more difficult. In these next couple weeks we will be finalizing our new “covid safety talk” and practicing signing Job Hazard Assessments, while maintaining distance AND sanitizing between every person. In the meantime, our new Social Distancing Friendly Volunteer Opportunities have hit the ground running! Check out the link to see some of the programs we are currently running, while waiting for public volunteer projects to start.
When trail projects start to open to the public, it will look a little different this summer. Each of our trail projects typically has a local, long-standing partner organization or business that has set up a trail day with us for their staff, supporters, etc… These partners set this up months ago, so we are going to offer up spots in volunteer trail projects first to our partners that we had already assigned to any given project. To start, each project group will be limited to 10 people, including FDRD staff. Therefore, if the partner organization/business is able to fill the spots for that trail project, it will not be open to the public. If the partner organization/business is not able to bring out the full amount of volunteers, then the project will be opened to the public. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to send out emails every time we have openings in a project; (we also don’t think you’d want to get that many emails!) so we ask you please continuously check our calendar page for these opportunities that are open to the public.
Thank you for your patience with us, as we attempt to navigate trail maintenance volunteer projects during the COVID-19 Pandemic! We really appreciate your understanding!
COVID-19 Pandemic Early Summer Plan
Tuesday, May 5th, 2020
First and foremost, we miss you! We love our volunteers, supporters, sponsors, and partners and we genuinely miss you guys. We sincerely hope that you all are coping with the stressful nature of our world today.
After a great deal of thought FDRD has made the difficult yet necessary decision to postpone all events, educational hikes, and volunteer projects through June 15th. Youth programming will be postponed through June 30th. We are still hoping to run the Volunteer Ranger Patrol program for returning rangers only, after completing an online refresher course and following physical distancing guidelines.
This decision was not easy but we have, and always will, put the safety of our staff and volunteers first. We feel that the risk is too high, and we do not currently have the ability to strictly follow all physical distancing and sanitizing precautions that would be necessary when conducting a group project. We will continue to reassess conditions and regulations daily, in hopes that we are able to return to our regularly scheduled programming (with the addition of physical distancing) as soon as possible.
A couple notable events affected:
- Annual Season Kickoff previously scheduled for June 3rd, is cancelled
- National Trails Day volunteer project scheduled for June 6th is postponed – we hope to reschedule this later in the summer!
- Celebración de la Naturaleza previously scheduled for June 20th, has been rescheduled to September 12th
- Keystone’s Bacon & Bourbon Festival scheduled for June 27-28 has been postponed to June 2021, therefore we won’t be collecting volunteers for that event this year
We know that you are all itching to get outside, recreate on our beautiful National Forest, and of course, GIVE BACK! Our season may be postponed, but here’s an idea of a way to give where you live this spring: Pick up trash — on the trail, at your favorite trailhead, on your street, around the reservoir, on the bike path, WHEREVER!
Thank you for your ongoing support, understanding, and patience as we navigate these uncertain times.
Wishing you the best,
COVID-19 Pandemic Response & Resources
Tuesday, March 31st, 2020
My thoughts are with you and the outdoor community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the country. Every aspect of life has been impacted by this pandemic, including our time in the mountains. The mountains are a place where we typically find solace and refuge. The mountains are a place where we learn about partnership, and that if we work together we can accomplish remarkable results. However, at this time we encourage you to respect Colorado Governor Polis’ recent Stay in Place Order, which encourages outdoor recreation close to home, and also clearly states that folks should only hang out with people in their immediate household.
The Summit County Government, Towns, and Board of Commissioners recently issued a communication requesting those who live outside of Summit County to not come here to ski, tour, climb, or hike. Governor Polis’ Order mandates that folks should only travel to operate critical businesses and governmental functions. In an effort to slow the transmission of this virus we need to stay close to home. Now is not the time to travel to Colorado’s mountain communities. Please consider how your decisions may affect the emergency response capabilities within the outdoor community – especially in light of COVID-19 when our local resources are stretched thin. Read an article by Andrew Weaver of SNEWS, describing the need for appropriate social distancing. And when you do venture outside, please follow these simple guidelines issued by The Outdoor Alliance.
At the current time, and for the foreseeable future, FDRD staff are all working remotely from home. We will not be visiting the office to check phone messages. We can be reached with questions at our general email address, email@example.com, or through each of our individual email addresses. All FDRD programs and activities through early May have been cancelled or postponed. Participant, volunteer, and employee safety is our top priority, and we take your health and well-being seriously. We are committed to providing all of our programs at the highest level possible while also ensuring that everyone is safe. We will continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving COVID-19 virus and its impacts on our mountain community and future FDRD events.
FDRD recognizes that we are being called on as a community for help. We are answering the call by supporting our local community through a $5,000 donation to The Summit Foundation’s Community Fund and through the purchase of several gift certificates to many of the local restaurants and merchants who have been strong supporters of our organization in the past.
Let’s individually answer that call and support each other as well as our local communities. Here are some things you can do to help:
- Stay home
- Continue following the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidelines to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe
- Donate food to or volunteer at a local food bank, such as FIRC
- Donate to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund or to another cause you believe in
- Buy a gift card from your favorite local restaurant or retailer
Thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we navigate through this challenging time.
Mike Connolly, Executive Director