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Community Comes First | EVLT’s Community Conservation Initiative

by Bergen Tjossem

Envisioning a new future for local conservation work is no easy feat. EVLT’s Community Conservation initiative aims to spur EVLT and partners to the forefront of tomorrow’s conservation. By better understanding the values of our community, we can begin to develop a vision and plan for land conservation that benefits everyone, two legs or four; pre-school or retired; first generation or fifth.

So how does “Community Conservation” work? It’s a process of listening, learning, implementing, evaluating, and iterating. The first step is engaging members of our community on protected land to show why we do what we do, to learn about why it is important to different people, and to understand the barriers to access that exist. It’s with this feedback that EVLT and partners can leverage conservation to address community needs.

One of EVLT’s Community Conservation programs, Future Conservationists, is cultivating a strong stewardship ethic among our valley’s youth. Another, the Community Land Connection series, is engaging folks of all ages on protected land, from historical tours of Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space to noxious weed removal projects at the West Avon Preserve. New Community Conservation partnerships include the ‘Serie de Conexion’ with Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement, a family focused hike in Spanish for members of our Latinx community; and a mental health focused series with Colorado Mountain Medical.

Community Conservation is the next evolution of the Eagle Valley Land Trust’s mission to protect land, build partnerships, support community resilience, and create a legacy for all future generations that will call this place home.

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