Monday letters: Children learn sustainability, parking problems, thanking volunteers, protecting the Thompson Divide

Teaching children to create a sustainable future

Hello, my name is Jennifer Smith. I am currently working toward my Bachelor’s degree in sustainability at Colorado Mountain College. I recently completed a community engagement service project with the sustainability teacher at our local elementary school. I absolutely loved watching the children’s enthusiasm with the projects they were working on in all different age groups.

The projects ranged from hatching chicks, collecting eggs, taking care of the hens, planting seeds, tending the gardens, harvesting, and picking up trash on and around the school grounds. The fifth and sixth graders that are on track can be a part of the Eco Team; which means working with sorting and composting from the cafeteria, and monitoring the energy being used in every classroom. They make signs as reminders to the teachers and the students about which lights to use and to turn them off when they are not in the room. The theme for the week was learning from creatures and being better to creatures. The students were researching where the animals they picked live, their ecosystems and habitats, food and water sources, and how humans have impacted them.

I really enjoyed seeing the interest each child had and how attentive they were. Starting from kindergarten is so important for making our next generations aware of creating a sustainable future. Teaching them how we’ve impacted our ecosystems, air, water, soil, and the importance of understanding that we need to make more sustainable choices is essential. I know that not all schools are implementing a sustainability program, but I encourage them to do so. Our children are the future that our planet will depend on, for the next generations to come, to live in a sustainable, and healthy world.

Jennifer Smith, Louviers

Where will we park now?

My family has lived in the same house since 1979. Yesterday, my neighbors and I were completely shocked when we were ticketed for parking in front of our own houses. Apparently, for no reason or warning of any kind, the city decided that we were not allowed to park on our street anymore. Within the hour of the sign being posted 9 feet up, 200 ft from any residence facing away from the road, we received tickets for violating this law. If you weren’t aware of the issued ticket and didn’t move your car, you received a second, third etc. ticket and fine!

Our neighborhood consists of single family houses with mostly one car driveways and no garages. My mother occupies the driveway and all others take the spots in front. For 42 years this has been the norm. Parking in front of our houses does not impede the roadway or keep any cars from going up or down the street. What prompted the city to implement this new law in this quiet residential area that only people who live here drive up?

Where do they suggest we park now?

There are no places anywhere even remotely close. Our options are parking on our lawns or crossing hwy 82 on foot and walking a distance to our houses. Come snowfall, parking on our lawns won’t be an option.

Thank you Glenwood for this unnecessary change. Only the city gains from this with all the fines imposed on people just parking where they have for as long as they’ve lived here!

Deb White, Glenwood Springs

Thank you, volunteers! 

The Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV) Board of Directors and staff wanted to take a moment to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the incredible volunteers and partners who have dedicated their time and effort to steward our region’s vital public lands. In 2023, we mobilized 1,457 unique volunteers who contributed 7,757 volunteer hours to improve 52 miles of trail, restore 19 acres of habitat and degraded landscape, and mitigate 8 acres of fuel to reduce wildfire threat.

Through their dedication, passion, and hard work, RFOV volunteers have not only made a difference with on-the-ground impact, but also inspired others to join in and support our mission to promote stewardship of our public lands.

Without their invaluable support, achieving our goals would have been an insurmountable task. Their generosity and commitment have touched the lives of residents and visitors in this region in ways that will have a lasting impact.

Everyone at RFOV would like to convey our deepest appreciation and admiration to every volunteer involved. Their diverse talents and perspectives have enriched our initiatives and propelled us forward.

Thank you for providing a platform that allows us to acknowledge these remarkable individuals. Together, we celebrate their spirit and unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in our community.

Becca Schild, Carbondale

Executive Director, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers

Protect the Thompson Divide

Protection of the Thompson Divide has been a priority for local communities for over a decade. As a hunter who has hunted the Thompson Divide, this area is especially important to me. I have seen how important it is to have large, undeveloped landscapes to support healthy elk and deer herds. The Thompson Divide contains significant chunks of roadless area that are key for wildlife habitat and movement corridors.

For seven years, I lived just outside Redstone, literally in the Thompson Divide, and filled my freezer with its bounty. It’s no wonder many hunters like me are drawn to the Thompson Divide each year. I thank the Forest Service and BLM for noticing our “Unified for Thompson Divide” yard signs, and for listening to our communities’ desire to keep this special place intact, and initiating a mineral withdrawal that would keep out new drilling and mining for 20 years. While the ultimate goal is permanent protection through the CORE Act, the proposed mineral withdrawal is an important protection for the next 20 years and I ask the agencies to act quickly to finalize these protections as soon as possible.

Robert Shettel, Carbondale

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