Stewardship in the time of COVID – connecting trails, dirt, and responsible recreation in Oak Creek, Arizona
NFF Grant Partners and Projects, Treasured Landscapes
If you are like most folks, you might be a little stir crazy, and ready to get out of your house, your city, and your daily routine during the COVID pandemic. Many recreationists, both returning and brand new, are flocking to our National Forests for a reprieve from the daily monotony, which is of course, amazing, but high visitation has come with consequences.
In Oak Creek Canyon in northern Arizona, the intensity of increasing use has led to unsafe parking along 89A, rogue and unauthorized trails down to the creek which increases erosion and sedimentation and subsequently poses significant water quality concerns.
To meet these challenges, NFF has partnered with REI Co-op and REI Foundation, Coconino National Forest, and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to improve trail management and restoration and increase trash pick-up, all with an eye towards reducing sediment and trash deposition into this precious water way.
Meet our team!
Meet our partners in stewardship!
This work was made possible by generous support from REI Co-op and the REI Foundation. Special thank you to photographer Richie Graham for joining us and photographing this important work.
Between May and September of 2017, American Conservation Experience (ACE) partnered with the City of Flagstaff, Arizona and Coconino National Forest to perform 110 acres of hazardous fuels treatment activities in Dry Lake Hills for the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project.
In October 2018, eight high school students from Tucson, Arizona decided not to vacation or take it easy on their fall break. Instead, they participated in the second iteration of the Earth Conservation Internship on the Coronado National Forest. Check out photos from their week in the forest.
At the NFF, connecting people of all ages to our National Forests inspires our work, but we know it takes innovative approaches to reach our nation’s young people. We also know that young people are as diverse as our landscapes. Our youth programs strive to connect with kids in new ways, honor their interests and life experiences, and expand their values to include conservation, stewardship and a love of the outdoors.
Over the past two years, the Silver Glen Springs Working Group has begun to make a mark; not only actively working to restore Lands, but educating visitors so they can help protect the natural and cultural resources in the area.
Last week, the NFF invited volunteers from the Exelon Corporation to team up with students from North Lawndale College Prep in Chicago for a day of field work at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. The students will be at this for six weeks as part of a youth-corps program the NFF and Exelon are supporting.
Today we are grateful to share in this power of partnerships and celebrate the success (and subsequent growth) of NFF’s-supported youth program in southeastern Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. In 2016, the NFF recruited four Tlingit high school-aged youth from Angoon, a remote village of 459 people on Admiralty Island.