MUELLER STATE PARK — A lot of people are loving Colorado's outdoor options during the pandemic. With that love, state leaders see a need for better care. “The hashtag is #CareforColorado,” said Travis Duncan with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, “Folks can follow that on social media." The campaign launches in time for the Labor Day weekend.
Visitor numbers on Colorado public land is rising quickly. "In July we had a million more people visit our state parks around Colorado, than we did in 2019," said Duncan. The rise is attributed to people opting outside during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the state’s rapid growth.
Outdoor advocates like Duncan are pleased so many people want to enjoy Colorado’s outdoors. "The downside of that is we see a lot more trash on our trails,” said Duncan,” We see a lot more new users out who may not know all they ways to take care of Colorado."
The #CareForColorado campaign works to teach the Leave No Trace principles for outdoor recreation. It is things like keeping distance from wild animals, and observing, but not taking things you discover. For example, take a picture of wildflowers, but do not pick them.
A lot of people adopting the simple principles is the goal of the campaign. "We are trying to expedite the learning curve,” said Duncan, “We have a lot of new folks out on the landscape and there might be things they don't know are wrong, so we're definitely just trying to educate."