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Volunteers Bring Life to the Great Outdoors: Enhancing Recreational Opportunities in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest

With the rise in outdoor recreation, a breed of enthusiasts is ensuring that the trails and campgrounds of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest remain accessible and enjoyable. 

Volunteer organizations such as the Common Outdoor Ground (COG) and Friends of the Medicine Bow Rail Trail (FMBRT) have been diligently dedicating their time and efforts to enhance the experience of outdoor enthusiasts.

COG volunteers, driven by their love for nature and the community have worked hand in hand to reopen the much-loved Pelton Creek Campground

The work encompasses a variety of tasks, from painting site markers and clearing brush, to building and painting picnic tables. 

COG’s contribution to the outdoor community is widely acknowledged and appreciated. The organization is commended by Aaron Voos, a public affairs specialist with the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, who stated, “The sky’s the limit with COG.” 

However, COG is not the only organization playing a pivotal role in promoting the outdoor recreation industry. Friends of the Medicine Bow Rail Trail (FMBRT) make a significant contribution by focusing on maintaining and improving the extensive 21-mile Medicine Bow Rail Trail and the picturesque 1-mile path around Lake Owen.

The FMBRT’s volunteers, like Mike Snigg, provide an impressive example of “outdoor recreation with a purpose. 

Snigg devoted over seven hours to the strenuous yet rewarding task of removing downed trees, traversing snowdrifts, and documenting washout sections on the Rail Trail. 

This volunteer-led effort ensures that the pathways remain navigable and safe, benefitting all non-motorized users. 

Snigg summarized his volunteer experience by saying, “Whether it’s a volunteer fire department, where I also give my time or the Rail Trail group, you usually get more back than you put in.”

These dedicated volunteers are making tremendous strides in enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities. As of June 27, volunteers had already logged over 30 hours, removing 54 downed trees and countless overhanging branches. 

Jay Whitman, a coordinator with FMBRT, underlined the personal fulfillment that comes with this work, saying, “Feeling responsible for helping keep the rail trail clear gives us more incentive to get out and enjoy it.”

Such volunteer initiatives have a positive knock-on effect on the wider outdoor recreation industry. Maintaining and improving trails and campgrounds enhances their appeal, attracting more visitors, and fostering a love for the outdoors. It’s a virtuous cycle that benefits both the environment and the economy.

Whether it’s building picnic tables or removing downed trees from trails, these acts of stewardship embody the spirit of outdoor recreation – celebrating nature, promoting physical fitness, and fostering a sense of community. For these volunteers, ‘work’ isn’t just about labor; it’s about a passion that fuels their efforts to improve outdoor spaces for everyone.

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Jennifer Young
Jennifer Young
April 23, 2024 6:27 am

Ever thought about the amazing impact of volunteers at Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest? Dive into their innovative work at Pelton Creek Campground and witness the magic of sustainable practices in action.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Volunteers Bring Life to the Great Outdoors: Enhancing Recreational Opportunities in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/wyoming/volunteers-bring-life-to-the-great-outdoors-enhancing-recreational-opportunities-in-medicine-bow-routt-national-forest/