The Nature Connection GOCO Inspire program dedicates its efforts to getting youth outdoors, with a special emphasis on outdoor experiences for youth of Olathe and Delta County.
With the Skis for Kids program, The Nature Connection has expanded to serve youth groups across the Western Slope, from Ouray and Ridgway to Glenwood Springs and Mesa County.
The Nature Connection GOCO Inspire program is seeking a winter intern (age 17+) to help get kids onto cross-country skis and out onto the snow to explore our national forests in winter.
This position -- and about 45 other internships and trainings -- was made possible through the $1.7 million GOCO Inspire grant awarded to The Nature Connection to implement its vision of "places, programs and pathways" over the next three years.
A Hotchkiss High School graduate and a U.S. Forest Service snow ranger have been selected to guide The Nature Connection through the process of implementing a $1.7 million Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Inspire grant.
Vince Galgano and Priscilla Williams were selected from a field of 27 applicants to lead The Nature Connection, also known as "the hub of outdoor education for Delta County and Olathe youth," through implementation of the three-year grant.
The City of Delta has formalized its commitment to The Nature Connection projects on city property, to include extension of a trail around Fort Uncompahgre,
On Dec. 15, the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board awarded an Inspire Initiative grant in the amount of $1,729,663.50 to Delta County and a coalition of partners called The Nature Connection (TNC), for the group's work to get kids outside.
Locally, announcement of the award was made at opening night of the 2017 Backcountry Film Festival opened in Paonia.
An announcement about The Nature Connection's GOCO Inspire Grant award will be made at the Backcountry Film Festival at the Paradise Theatre next Monday (see story on page A9).
About 120 community members turned out to support The Nature Connection's application for a GOCO Inspire grant.
"I have never seen such a large group of people, from such a large area, come together for such a long time toward a common goal -- the welfare of our kids," said coalition member Neal Schweiterman of Paonia.
Anita Evans and her team of volunteers have spent countless hours surveying community stakeholders, attending meetings, writing grants, collecting gear, and a thousand other small but important tasks, all in an effort to help bring Delta County together and offer richer outdoor recreational opportunities for the youth here. Evans and her crew have also worked tirelessly to build relationships with other groups interested in the same outcome: getting kids off screens, and outside.
Delta City Council has pledged up to $17,425 as matching funds for a GOCO Inspire Grant sought by the Nature Connection.
Program director Anita Evans and partners from the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have been making the rounds in Delta County, seeking support for a $1.5 million grant to implement programs, places and pathways to connect kids with the outdoors.
Anita Evans and Scott Rist with the Nature Connection approached the Town of Crawford last week, seeking financial and in-kind support for a matching Inspire grant they intend to apply for through Greater Outdoors Colorado in July.
The Nature Connection is a nonprofit group working with the Delta County School District and other partners to provide outdoor recreational opportunities and environmental education to schoolchildren here.
The Delta County Commissioners agreed on Monday to write a letter of support and/or adopt a resolution in support of a grant request by The Nature Connection.
Three board members of The Nature Connection -- Steve Rist, Anita Evans and Anne Janik -- explained to the BoCC that even with this county's extensive public lands resources, the area's youth are not experiencing the outdoors nor developing the skills needed to become successful in outdoor activities.
In an effort to increase the size of its gear library, The Nature Connection held a Bike & Outdoor Gear Drive Saturday. Among the donations, said Anita Evans with The Nature Connection, were a dozen bikes ranging in condition from almost new to well-used, a canoe, a kayak, a Snark sailboat, a boat rack, five pair of snowshoes, eleven pair of skis and several pair of cross-country and downhill ski boots.
In a recent survey of Delta County and Olathe area students ages 4-18, out of almost 30 outdoor activities, archery was identified as being the one they would most like to try.
The more than 3,700 students, along with 235 adults who participated in the survey, also identified a lack of time, of access to equipment and money as the biggest obstacles between them and trying new outdoor activities.
The Nature Connection, a hub of outdoor recreation for students and their families in Delta County and Olathe, is hosting a series of planning meetings to create community-specific plans for providing youth and their families opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking, archery, camping and more.
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