Aspen Valley Land Trust

Protecting the working lands, wildlands, and treasured wonderlands of the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.

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Land Conservation

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
Families
General population
Teachers

Description

Aspen Valley Land Trust's mission is to conserve open land in perpetuity for the benefit of the public. This means that the land we protect possesses conservation values worthy of public investment, including important wildlife habitat, water resources like stream corridors, wetlands and water rights, recreational parks and trails, outdoor educational space, farms, ranches, and scenic vistas.

Most of the land conserved by AVLT is protected with conservation easements, voluntary agreements that restrict development and certain uses on the property. This tool offers an efficient and effective way to protect land under private management, keep it on the tax rolls, and protect it in perpetuity. In fact, a 2017 Colorado State University study revealed that every dollar invested in conservation easements provided a return of between $4 and $12 in environmental benefits such as water purification, soil conservation, access to local foods, and protection of important wildlife habitat.

Donations to AVLT's Land Conservation Fund support this work and help ensure a healthy future for our beautiful valleys, open spaces, and way of life.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

AVLT has protected over 41,000 acres of open lands for wildlife, agriculture, recreation, and education, including more than 90 miles of river and stream frontage, 30 miles of trails, and 8 public parks. AVLT is accredited by the National Land Trust Accreditation Commission and certified by the State of Colorado.

As the oldest land trust in Colorado, AVLT maintains the highest ethical and legal standards, strong fiscal health, and an excellent reputation in the community, positioning the organization to remain successful and sustainable over the next 50 years and beyond.

Connecting Kids and Nature: Chapin Wright Marble Basecamp

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Children (4-12 years)
Ethnic/Racial Minorities
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Teachers

Description

In 2016, AVLT purchased a 47-acre property in Marble, Colorado known as Chapin Wright Marble Basecamp, which has been home to outdoor education programs for local youth for 50 years. Nearly 5,000 middle school kids have backpacked into this scenic alpine wonderland, camped, climbed, and practiced team-building and personal challenges designed to enrich lives and deepen connections to the outdoors and to one another. This outdoor experience helps students unplug from daily distractions and develop an appreciation for the natural world that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Today, Marble Basecamp offers students and teachers from up and down the Roaring Fork Valley a rare opportunity to experience outdoor education in a magical, remote setting, helping develop and support the next generation of leaders and land stewards.

AVLT has committed to managing Basecamp for wildlife and for children, making it accessible to schools and youth groups throughout the region. Donations to this program will fund long-term management and improvements to the property needed to make it accessible to less experienced groups. Donations also fund a part-time education outreach coordinator who works with local schools and youth groups to provide access and help meet their outdoor education goals.

For more information please see the Marble Basecamp video above or copy and paste the following link into your browser:

https://youtu.be/lWbF4D1Pg7Q

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

AVLT has engaged with more than 12 schools and several youth groups to discuss how outdoor education programs at Marble Basecamp can enhance their programs. Last year, AVLT led a course for 25 educators from Aspen to Glenwood Springs exploring the philosophy, purpose, and logistics of leading outdoor education programs for children in the wild.

Aspen Middle School celebrated 50 years of its 8th Grade Outdoor Ed program this year, most of which has taken place at Marble Basecamp. Conservation of the property means that it will remain available to the school to use for the next 50 years.

So far, Basalt High School, Glenwood High School, Marble Charter School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, The Buddy Program, and our local ROTC have all sent groups of students to the property for inspirational outdoor experiences. The classes enjoy building campfires, telling stories, working on team building, and helping with land management.

Your support also enables each of these schools to develop community service projects on the property, and provides opportunities for teacher and leadership advancement. It is clear that Marble Basecamp is becoming a treasured community asset that benefits our children and our communities.

Conservation Stewardship

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
General Public
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

In order to carry out its mission to protect treasured open spaces forever, AVLT is required to monitor each of its conservation holdings on an annual basis and to legally defend them in perpetuity.

AVLT maintains a Stewardship Fund dedicated to the long-term stewardship and maintenance of its conserved lands. Growing this fund will enable the Land Trust to carry out its obligations in perpetuity. We need to be here forever, in order to protect land forever.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Successful stewardship is evidenced by excellent relationships with owners of conserved lands and conservation partners, as well as by the continued good stewardship of conserved lands. In the case of a violation or challenge to a conserved property, the Land Trust has shown its ability to respond immediately and achieve successful restoration or resolution of the issue.

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.