Livewell Northwest Colorado: It takes a community
June 12, 2016
Despite Steamboat Springs' epic winters, the more I talk with people in this community, the more I think spring is one of the most popular seasons in the Yampa Valley. People are energized and excited for the change in season and time of buds and blossoms, renewed hope and anticipation for summer.
Spring is different for everyone — for some, it's all about hitting the trails and exploring the woods; for others, it's about planting seeds, gardening, enjoying flowers and soaking up the highly anticipated warmer weather.
Our community's energy, commitment and support for nonprofits continues to impress me as no other town I have lived in. The recent United Day of Caring linked us up with more than a dozen hard-working employees from Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., who joined us at Yampatika's Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch.
Blankets of straw were pulled back from the gardens as they were prepared and planted with care. Some helped to revitalize a compost pile, while others cleared out large sections of weeds around historic rose bushes.
It's astounding the massive amount of work that can be accomplished in only a few hours by a group of motivated people. That day renewed my passion about living in the Yampa Valley and reminded me of why so many of us do. A community of people who are ready and willing to lend a hand or donate their time to help others is a beautiful thing, and in Steamboat Springs, it's truly impressive.
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Yampatika relies on volunteers to help us with many of our programs and to maintain the grounds and gardens at the Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch. Volunteer expertise will help our gardens grow vegetables and expand opportunities for summer camp kids this summer to get their hands dirty and feel more connected to where food truly comes from.
Spring is perfect for getting outside.
People enjoy the spring in so many different ways, from gardening to bird watching, biking to painting. With so many activities available from our doorsteps, it continues to impress me how so many people still offer their valuable time and expertise to volunteer as Master Gardeners, mentors and so many other important roles in the nonprofits throughout our community.
The beautiful weather inspires us in different ways, and it inspires me to thank everyone who makes time to volunteer to bring our community closer and also help it grow and thrive.
As Margaret Mead said so well “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Kellie Gorman is program director with Yampatika and a member of the Northwest Colorado Food Coalition.