Roundup Riders of the Rockies Heritage and Trails Foundation
By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of Roundup Riders of the Rockies Heritage and Trails Foundation
Colorado is known worldwide for its picturesque outdoor living. Whether white water rafting down river rapids, camping in remote areas, mountain biking rocky trails or riding horses through beautiful vistas, love for the state’s wilderness is shared by many. The Roundup Riders of the Rockies Heritage and Trails Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was created out of love for Colorado’s wild spaces. The group’s mission is to provide supplemental funding to national, state and local groups throughout Colorado to help maintain trails and equestrian related projects.
The foundation was formed by Roundup Riders of the Rockies (3R), a men’s horseback riding group that promotes western heritage. (To read more about the group see front-page story). Yearly, the riding group takes a week-long trek along mountain trails. In the early 1980s it was on these rides that the need for trail maintenance and construction of new trails was discovered. The federal funds that were earmarked for the work were simply not keeping up with the need from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
Through a public/private partnership, the foundation has been able to annually grant more than $100,000 in funds to many USFS ranger districts, in addition to granting funding to many other organizations that support the USFS, like Colorado Youth Corps Association, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and the Colorado Trail Foundation. Closer to the Castle Pines community, they have also made grants to organizations like Douglas County Open Space, High Line Canal Conservancy, Chatfield State Park and Cherokee Ranch & Castle Foundation.
Although a separate entity, 3R still partners closely with the foundation. Many 3R members regularly contribute both financially and with hard labor to maintain the non-motorized recreational trails that their horses traverse. Over the last several decades the use of these trails has increased, and with it the need for funding to maintain them.
To learn more or to make a contribution, visit https://www.heritageandtrails.org.
There are an abundance of amazing nonprofit and volunteer organizations that are having a positive impact on the lives of so many in Douglas County. The Castle Pines Connection has dedicated this monthly segment to introducing these everyday angels to you. If you are associated with, or know of, a nonprofit serving your community, please contact us so that we may help bring awareness and support to the organization. Email Editor@castlepinesconnection.com.