U.S Forest Service Awards 2012 National Partner In Excellence- Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA)

Contact(s): Ann Ewing, Salida Staff, 719-539-3591

SALIDA, Colo., March 20, 2013– The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) has been awarded the 2012 National Partner in Excellence Award by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). 

 The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) completed a monumental year in 2012 by assisting the Pike and San Isabel National Forests with collaborative and innovative approaches which will assist in the delivery of interpretation, education, and sustainable tourism. 

 A few of GARNA’s 2012 highpoints include:

  • The Youth Ecological Literacy Program which provided field trips on USFS and BLM lands. Programs included classroom sessions for 3rd, 6th, and 10th grades. Students progress through a curriculum including topics in biology, geology, cartography, and Leave No Trace ethics.
  • GARNA's Upper Arkansas Wilderness Volunteers (UAWV) Chapter played a key role in assisting the USFS in trail management. Accomplishments included: 730 miles monitored, 300 trees cleared, 528 public contacts, and 1,075 volunteer hours.
  • GARNA’s Friends of Fourmile (FOF) Chapter completed its 10th year working with the USFS. Over the course of the last decade,  FOF contributed over 11,000 volunteer hours.  Volunteer activities include its annual work projects, grant activities, patrols, brochure and map production (with over 100,000 grant and agency funded brochures being distributed). 

 According to Salida District Ranger, Tim Slone, “GARNA is a model partner organization for the Forest Service. In 2012, GARNA’s efforts more than doubled the Agency’s capability to deliver outstanding interpretation, education, and sustainable tourism within the Upper Arkansas Valley of Colorado. We applaud their national recognition.”      

 This national bi-annual award was part of the Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL) convention in Portland, Oregon.  The theme of the APPL conference was “Crossing Bridges, Blazing Trails.”