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Friends of the Dillon Ranger District

Millions of people spend time in Summit County every year due to the diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation. FDRD partners with the US Forest Service and other area organizations, leveraging the power of volunteers to prevent the National Forest in Summit County from being "loved to death."

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Ranger Patrol

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Animals
Families
General population
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

With over 450 miles of trail managed by the Dillon Ranger District in Summit County, our volunteer Ranger Patrollers are the face of the Forest Service to the thousands of hikers, bikers, off-road riders, and everyone else who recreates here every year. The goal of FDRD's Ranger Patrol program is to establish a friendly presence on local public lands, educate forest visitors and users, and collect vital information such as visitor numbers that will better help the Dillon Ranger District staff serve the community.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2017 Volunteer Ranger Patrollers patrolled roughly 340 hikes, (up from 202 last year) which is equivalent to 1,811 miles. They contacted and educated almost 13,000 visitors and community members in just one summer season and put in over 1,300 volunteer hours.

Educational Programming

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

FDRD is now excited to add Educational Programs to our slate of projects and events! These programs contribute to our mission of providing opportunities for the community, and visitors, to play a more active role in the sustainable management of our National Forest.

Educational Hikes/Tours - Educators and naturalists lead tours on topics including Geology, Mining History, Forestry, Wildlife, Sustainability and Wildflowers.
Youth Activities - to achieve a personal connection with nature through classroom teachings and outdoor field trips
Thrive Speaker Series - Free speaker events addressing recreational and environmental issues and topics

By offering these new programs and events, FDRD continues our vision of fostering an enduring legacy of forest stewardship.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Our free, Summer Educational Hike Series really took off in 2017. We led 15 guided hikes for about 150 guests educating them on an array of different naturalist subjects. Our Speaker Series has continues to grow in popularity and community members have given us excellent feedback.

Ski With A Ranger

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children ages 5 to 21
Families
General Public

Description

The United States Forest Service (USFS) and Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) hopes that through the Ski with a Ranger (SWAR) program, Volunteer Snow Rangers will be able to educate ski area guests about the natural and cultural history of our National Forest lands to further inspire Forest Stewardship.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Volunteer Ski With A Ranger Program has been crucial in educating one of the largest recreation groups in the White River National Forest, downhill skiers. This group's continued use is dependent on the good health of our forests. This program addresses the need by educating these visitors on the natural diversity of our public lands, ways in which others are working to protect them, and how they can play a part in stewardship. The number of participants has increased each year and the resorts continue coordinate with us. The program is in its ninth official winter season.

The Ski With A Ranger Program allows community members to become trained interpreters and stewards and educates our residents and visitors to help sustain our forests year round. During the winter of 2017-2018 fifteen FDRD volunteers led 64 mountain tours and educated over 700 guests.

Volunteer Trail Stewardship Program

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Families
General Public
Outdoor Recreationists

Description

Our Volunteer Stewardship program enables community members and visitors to participate in one-day volunteer opportunities including: service projects that are open to the general public; "on-demand" projects in which local businesses and organizations partner with FDRD for service days; and partner projects, in which FDRD works with other outdoor stewardship organizations like Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative. These projects restore habituate, build trails, plant trees, remove invasive species, and more!

Our Volunteer Stewardship Program enables community members to participate in ongoing volunteer programs primarily centered around pressing maintenance and public outreach needs on system trails. Projects are accomplished by developing leadership capacity and technical competency within volunteer groups, which enables FDRD to maximize the efforts of its relatively small staff.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

During the summer of 2017 over 1200 volunteers contributed extensive work on the Summit County forest including:
Built .62 miles of new trail
Maintained 1,416 feet of existing trails
Built 150 feet of buck and rail fencing
Installed 72 feet of rock retaining walls
Built 114 feet of trail raised turnpike structures
Installed 36 rock steps on the trails
Planted 152 trees
Removed .65 miles of barbed wire
Collected 86 bags of trash
Restored 1.5 square miles of animal habitat

Youth Stewards Program

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Children ages 5 to 21
Ethnic/Racial Minorities - General
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

The Youth Stewards Program aims to encourage lasting sustainability of our National Forest lands for years to come by helping youth ages 6-24 make the connection between healthy forests, healthy communities, and their own daily life by engaging in meaningful outdoor stewardship projects. Our activities include service projects and educational presentations for local youth ages 6-18 as well as the coordination of Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crews completing specialty project work (ages 18-24).

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

During the winter of 2017, FDRD began offering authentic and in-depth learning experiences for local youth partners, including SOS Outreach, Frisco Fun Club, Summit Middle School, Snowy Peaks High School and Silverthorne Elementary School. FDRD offered experiential learning activities from the Winter Wildland Alliance's popular SnowSchool curriculum, which is designed to allow students to explore concepts in snow science and winter ecology.

This summer, we fostered new partnerships and implemented new programs aimed to introduce youth to the pride and purpose of land stewardship while providing tangible benefits to our local forest. We implemented 26 youth specific projects on our National Forest this summer. Our youth-only projects, coordinated with youth partners, include educational components in Leave No Trace Ethics and forest stewardship.

Summer 2017 Youth Stewardship Highlights:
-Total youth stewardship volunteers summer 2017: 496
-Total youth stewardship hours: 1,558
-Total mile of trails and turnpikes maintained through youth stewardship projects: 2,451 ft
-Total area of rehabilitation through youth stewardship projects: 1,120
-Tree and plants transplanted: 38

Project Examples:
-Learning about Leave no Trace practices while rehabilitating social trails on the Frisco Peninsula with Frisco Fun Club
-Collecting and sorting rocks/dirt to enhance turnpikes, pruning and clearing trail corridors, building ramps to foot bridges, and rehabilitating social trails with SOS Outreach.
-Teaching students from Keystone's Dirt Camp about trail construction for different users.
-Revegetating illegal campsites and old trails with youth from Keystone Science School.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.