Purgatoire Watershed Outdoor Stewardship Program

Get Outside! Have Fun! Learn Valuable Skills! Make New Friends!

Come learn about the outdoors and your watershed and see the immediate on-the-ground impacts you can have by improving your skills and getting involved in stewardship efforts like land and river bank restoration, trail building, native fish stocking, invasive species management, native vegetation planting, and much more that directly benefits our wildlife and our communities!

Join Us Today!

The Purgatoire Watershed Outdoor Stewardship Program encourages new and long-time community members to get involved in outdoor stewardship for personal benefit as well as for the long term benefit of the health and enhancement of the watershed. We welcome all ages, backgrounds and skill levels (no experience necessary!) to get involved today!

We believe that good river and land stewards are built not born! Some of us were lucky enough to grow up with role models who taught us all about nature and the outdoors, all the skills to enjoy it enthusiastically but safely, and all of the knowledge to care for and protect our lands and property. The rest of us did not!

Our Stewardship Program includes 4 levels of outdoor learning & stewardship engagement – join us at whatever level(s) are of interest to you!

Level 1 – Just Get Outside! There has been a lot of focus lately on trying to get kids outdoors and away from their electronics, but a lot of us adults are no better! Kick the electronics and develop a love for the outdoors now! Yes its dirty and there are bugs and snakes and bears but there is a whole new world out there – we just need to learn how to explore it safely! Level 1 activities include age-appropriate Outdoors 101 training to teach kids & us adults the basics of learning to appreciate nature and the outdoors and to love (or at least tolerate) getting dirty! And we’ve partnered up with Wild & Scenic Film to hold an annual youth outdoor film fest and a separate adult/community outdoor film fest to get all of us excited to get outdoors – no matter our experience level!

Level 2 – Once You’re Out There, Don’t Be A Jerk! Some people will disrespect trails and property and the outdoors no matter what, but for the rest of us… let’s learn how not to be accidental jerks in the outdoors! Level 2 activities will include bringing in local and regional experts to provide us with skills training such as certified Leave No Trace training and Rules of the Trail training (e.g. importance of wildlife closures, who has the right of way, learning the right way to access different types of private and publicly owned property and what we can and can’t do on these properties, plus lots of free maps & resources to help guide our adventures & keep us out of trouble!)

Level 3 – Connecting to Community & Skills Building! Having developed a connection to the outdoors, you want to take it to the next level and give back to your community and your watershed – all while having fun, eating free food, meeting new people, and learning new skills! Level 3 activities include a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in community stewardship events and education & skills training to benefit you personally as well as your watershed. This includes joining us for outdoor stewardship events (such as our monthly river cleanups and vegetation management events), plus we are working with partners such as Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) Outdoor Stewardship Institute to provide us with skills training workshops like trail building, outdoor leadership, restoration skills, and train-the-trainer opportunities to increase our in-watershed expertise and ensure the sustainability of our program.

Level 4 – Exploring The Outdoors As A Possible Career! Whether you just want to take your outdoor stewardship skills training to the next level, or you want to explore outdoor stewardship as a possible paid career path (while meeting experts in the field and building your resume), join us for our Natural Resource Manager Training Series – a well-rounded series of educational training modules focused on different aspects of natural resource stewardship and management (e.g. wildlife management & habitat restoration; native plant revegetation & invasive species management; water quantity & quality sampling; understanding the basics of natural resource stewardship such as project planning, monitoring, maintenance, adaptive management, collaboration, and working with the public). Multiple local and regional natural resource-related agencies and organizations will be providing expert training and an inside perspective on a day-in-the-life of a professional natural resource steward/manager!

If you aren’t already involved, we look forward to seeing you soon!

Join Us Today!

This program is sponsored by 25 local and regional partners (and growing!) including Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Purgatoire Watershed Partnership, City of Trinidad, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, Trout Unlimited, Purgatoire River Anglers, River Watch Program, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Colorado State University Extension, City of Trinidad Urban Forestry Board, City of Trinidad Parks & Recreation Board, Purgatoire Watershed Weed Management Collaborative, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado Outdoor Stewardship Institute, Leave No Trace Program, Trinidad Youth Club, Trinidad School District, Downtown Trinidad Development Group, Mile High Youth Corps, Trinidad Outdoor Club, Trinidad Trails, Spanish Peaks-Purgatoire River Conservation District, Trinidad State, Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative, Coalitions & Collaboratives, and Wild & Scenic Film Festival!

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