Friday, April 23, 2010

Hiking for Nature Education

(This was first published in the Spring 2010 edition of MPEC's newsletter "Mountain Park News".)

Yes, it’s been a challenge, keeping the funding going for our programs in this slumped economy. As MPEC’s Executive Director, I am 100% determined to get through these tough times with zero reduction in the on-the-ground programming that MPEC is all about, so people, especially young people, can keep getting out into our part of Colorado’s great outdoors!

So, this year, in response to my determination to keep programs fully funded, combined with my desire to always be creative in our fund-raising, I am embarking on a personal fund-raising effort for MPEC. Beginning sometime this spring, and continuing for as long as it takes me, I plan on doing a fund-raising backpack of the Colorado Trail.

Since my work and family commitments will not allow a straight-through hike, my plan is take a series of shorter backpacks of a few to several days, taking off on each subsequent hike where I left off on the one before. Depending on many factors (e.g. weather, scheduling conflicts, other commitments), I know that this may require 2011 to finish, but my plan is to walk from Denver to Durango, all 485 miles.

Backpacking the Colorado Trail will not be without its challenges: all sorts of weather, long stretches with no reliable sources of water, and a total of 77,690 feet of elevation gain (and 76,210 feet of downhill hiking), to name a few. But I won’t deny it, I love to backpack, I love a challenge, and there certainly will be a huge element of personal enjoyment in doing this hike. As MPEC’s founder, I also cannot deny that MPEC has become so much a part of me, and is never very far from much of what I do in my life. So, I thought, why not combine my love of backpacking with my love for Nature education? Hence, Ranger Dave’s Colorado Trail Fund-Raising Backpack for Nature Education.

I know that MPEC could not do the good work that we do without the support of the many people who support MPEC through memberships, donations, and volunteering. And I know that this new fund-raising effort will not be successful without that same support. So, I need your help. Please consider making a pledge towards this effort. A dime per mile translates into $48.50. A quarter per mile comes to $121.25; $.50 would provide $242.50 towards MPEC’s programs; and so on. Maybe one lump sponsorship sum would work better for you.

Another way you could help is to provide transportation and/or shuttle assistance to the various trailheads. If you would like to join me for sections of the trail and get your own pledges, that could be another way to help. My “not-as-young” body is requesting an equipment upgrade with some “ultralight backpacking gear,” – maybe your business would be willing to co-sponsor by helping out with gear. It’s all about raising funds to keep MPEC’s great programs going, so let me know your ideas on how you can help make this fund-raiser a huge success for MPEC. You can contact me at (719) 485-4444 or email Thanks so much!

1 comment:

  1. I love reading about your adventures Dave! Your photos are beautiful too!
    Japhy and I would like to hike with you some this summer or early fall.
    I think what you are doing is so YOU and so great for MPEC-GO Ranger DAVE!!!!