Apr 27, 2010 9:33 PM by Stephanie Collins

485 mile fundraising effort

Every year, 5th graders from Pueblo City Schools head to the Mountain Park Environmental Center in Beulah, they get to hike and learn about ecosystems.

The park is now facing the challenge of keeping funding going for such programs so the park's founder, Dave Van Manen, is embarking on a personal fundraising effort, "I'm hiking the Colorado Trail and I'm taking pledges." 

The Colorado Trail runs 485 miles and starts just southwest of Denver and winds its way through several wilderness areas, ending in Durango. The money Van Manen raises on his journey will go towards programs at the mountain park environmental center, " The program is called Earth Studies, on any given day during the school year we have 60-70 Pueblo City Schools 5th graders here." 

Van Manen won't hike all 485 miles in one trip because of work and family commitments. He will hike a few days at a time and each time he returns to the trail he'll pick up where he left off. 

With an average altitude of 10,000 feet, the Colorado Trail isn't an easy hike but Van Manen says his goal will keep him going, "The whole purpose of this is to raise money so Pueblo area kids can get outside into nature."

Van Manen says he will begin his journey once there is a string of days with mild weather. He will have a GPS beacon with him so people can track where he is on his hike through his blog. 

Van Manen's goal is to raise $100/mile; you can help by donating on the park's website.


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