Ed Self, executive director of Boulder nonprofit Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, had a great article in the spring 2011 newsletter. I’m going to quote from it here.
We normally think of outdoor recreation as doing one of myriad activities such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing, horseback riding, etc. At these times we are “users” of public lands, aiming simply to have fun with friends and get some good exercise.
I’d like to introduce the notion of restoration AS recreation. Land stewardship and restoration work share all the features of recreation. When you participate in a restoration project, you have a ton of fun; spend time with friends; get great exercise; see beautiful places; eat delicious food; and you even get to camp out if it’s a multi-day project. And, you get one additional benefit as well. You get the satisfaction of giving something tangible back to the special places you love, rather than just “using” those places.
Thanks, Ed. I couldn’t have said it better.
If you like outdoor restoration projects, go to WRV’s website and look under the Projects tab. They have habitat restoration projects along the Front Range and elsewhere at various levels of difficulty, for adults and teens.