CCC Inspires Land Trust Stewardship Corps

CCC Inspires Land Trust Stewardship Corps

The Estes Valley Land Trust developed a new program to help our conserved lands and provide relief to the Estes Park community at the same time!

Remember the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930’s (see this short film for a reminder), when thousands of young men built trails, planted trees and helped protect our natural resources? This year, the Estes Valley Land Trust has created a similar program, though on a much smaller scale, to help with the management of nearly 10,000 acres of land under conservation easement. 

Thirty residents of Estes Park (men and women) will be selected for the Estes Valley Stewardship Corps and will receive a $500 check from the land trust during the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify for the Corps, the resident must have lost their job or been furloughed due to the virus and must pledge 20 hours of service to the land trust when it is safe to work together again. This model helps our local workforce make ends meet now, and provides a total of 600 hours of service on our conserved lands later. 

Approximately 20 donors stepped forward to fund the Estes Valley Stewardship Corps and once the pandemic passes, the Corps will be working with our partners to stack slash, pull weeds and repair trails. If you donated a conservation easement to the land trust and have a project for the Stewardship Corps, please let us know.

Wildlife Film Recommendation

Wildlife Film Recommendation

Since we are all spending more time indoors, it’s a nice time to dust off the camera equipment, start planning hikes, and get ready for the spring and summer wildlife photography season. Soon wildflowers will be brightening the landscape and calves will be testing their legs. 

The short film The Wait chronicles a young Belgian wildlife photographer as he spends hours and sometimes days searching for the perfect shot. We hope this film will inspire you to take a closer look, or spend a little more time, watching wildlife. With less human activity outdoors during the pandemic, you may see more wildlife right outside your window. 

Amazing Orchids

Amazing Orchids

Calypso Orchid photo by Marlene Borneman

As we continue to stay at home and recreate nearby, it’s nice to remember that brighter days are ahead. Soon summer will arrive and our forests and meadows will be resplendent with wildflowers. No matter when the pandemic passes, the plants of the Estes Valley will endure.

One of the most colorful (and fragile) plants in the Estes Valley is Calypso bulbosa, otherwise known as the calypso orchid or fairy slipper. Calypso Cascades in Rocky Mountain National Park are named after this plant. It’s nice to know that the shaded and moist sites along some of your favorite trails will soon be brightened by this beautiful wildflower.

Since we are still a few months away from the C. bulbosa flowering season, we wanted to share a short film about another gorgeous orchid. Chasing Ghosts is a film about a rare orchid located in the swamps of south Florida. Join these intrepid researchers on their wet adventure to solve the ghost orchid mystery. Even the researchers were surprised at their findings!

And remember, soon, we’ll be able to see our own local orchid in bloom.

Staying in Touch

Staying in Touch

Photo of an American dipper by airboy123

This spring has brought sudden change to all of our lives. In the face of so much uncertainty, it’s reassuring to know that the Estes Valley endures. The forests and meadows, craggy peaks and rivers, and the wildlife that inhabit these areas live on. Thanks to our members and our many partners, our beautiful valley will be here forever.

We are tracking governmental orders and delaying events as needed. We know that many of you look forward to the annual volunteer monitoring season and our summer breakfasts. We’ll keep you up to date on these events – please see our website for more details.

Our members are close-knit and commune around nature. Since we cannot host outdoor events at this time, we will be sharing links to environmental films that bring joy and connect us to nature. This week, we’re sharing a short film called A Trout With Feathers about a local bird called the American dipper/water ouzel. It’s the namesake of Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park and you are likely to see one along Glacier Creek, at the YMCA of the Rockies Conservation Easement.

On behalf of the entire team, we hope you are well and able to find ways to get outdoors for some fresh air. If you go for a hike, please do so locally and safely, in accordance with Colorado’s Stay at Home Order.

Estes Valley Land Trust Earns National Recognition, Thanks Estes Park Community

Estes Valley Land Trust Earns National Recognition, Thanks Estes Park Community

The Estes Valley Land Trust has been nationally recognized for its commitment to professional excellence and for conserving land in Colorado. The Estes Valley Land Trust was one of just three land trusts recognized for its third accreditation, of 1,363 land trusts across the United States.

“One thing that unites the Estes Park community is land. Since 1987, the Estes Valley Land Trust has preserved nearly 10,000 acres of land for the people and wildlife of Estes Park, Larimer and Bounder counties. We’re very proud to be nationally recognized, once again, for our work”, said Robin Harding, President, Board of Directors.

The Estes Valley Land Trust went through a rigorous 9-month process with the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), a national organization, to evaluate its business practices related to governance, financial records, recordkeeping, conservation easement drafting and other critical practices. In the end, LTA recognized the Estes Valley Land Trust as an accredited land trust without any areas for improvement. 

LTA also requested the Estes Valley Land Trust share some of their business documents, to be used as a template for other land trusts across the nation. “It was a real complement to our Finance Committee and another example of the incredible leadership the Board of Directors provides the land trust”, said Jeffrey Boring, Executive Director.

“This recognition is really a testament to all our members and they deserve a big thank you. We are a community-based organization and our members volunteer thousands of hours to help us conserve land. Without the support of the community, the Estes Valley Land Trust would not have been nationally recognized”, Boring continued.

A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process can be found at

This press release appeared in the March, 8 2019 Estes Park News

EVLT was first accredited in 2008. Read about our first accreditation here