Supporting local communities and caring for the environment is part of our DNA at Natural Habitat Adventures. As “The Nature People,” our staff is committed to community initiatives that promote the responsible stewardship of wild habitats worldwide.
We believe that collaborative, community-driven conservation plays a critical role in preserving the natural resources that all living things depend on. Nat Hab works closely with our conservation travel partners at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to empower communities to effectively manage and protect their natural surroundings while maintaining sustainable livelihoods.
Our team members are also passionate about outdoor recreation, so more than a dozen of us were excited to spend our 2016 NHA Volunteer Day giving back to our local community by helping to build a new section of multi-use trail on nearby Heil Valley Ranch open space between Boulder and Lyons.
Like many natural parks along Colorado’s Front Range, the existing trail system at Heil Valley Ranch currently experiences a high volume of trail users. New trails like the one that NHA helped build will provide some reprieve for these natural areas by more evenly distributing hikers and bikers across more trails, which is also expected to help reduce the negative environmental impacts of off-trail use.
Nat Hab’s half-day volunteer project was facilitated by a local nonprofit, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, in partnership with Boulder County Parks & Open Space, whose expert trail staff showed our volunteers the most effective way to construct a new multi-use trail traversing the hillside.
After completing our quick training, Nat Hab’s volunteer crew got to work on the new trail: digging out rocks, moving trees, scooping up dirt, kicking and raking the spoils downhill, and ensuring that the path was built at the correct angles and free of large roots and debris. We used McLeods, pick mattocks and our feet as tools to smooth out the tread, cut the backslope, and refine the new trail.
In total, our volunteer team completed the finish work on about 2,500 feet of new multi-use trail at Heil Valley Ranch. This new trail is expected to be open for public use by summer 2017 and will provide access to additional natural areas for hikers and mountain bikers to explore for many years to come.
Heil Valley Ranch is one of the many incredible wilderness areas that Colorado folks like us love to play in year-round, and Nat Hab’s staff can’t wait to hike and bike on the new trail that we helped build!
Our Nat Hab office employees in Colorado are fortunate to have abundant outdoor recreation and volunteer opportunities so close to home. We encourage everyone, regardless of where they live, to become active stewards of their communities’ natural resources. Whether that involves monitoring vulnerable wildlife populations, supporting ecotourism in other communities, or constructing sustainable trails that enable more people to get outside and experience nature, together we can make a positive difference in our local and global communities.