What did you do on your Spring Break? While many of us are taking a trip, working in the yard, visiting friends or just hanging out and partying, college students from Missouri are volunteering their time in Southwestern Colorado.
Since 1996, ten University of Missouri students participate in an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program coordinated by the San Juan Mountains Association. The students volunteer their time working on public lands with the Bureau of Land Management. This is a service learning program where students volunteer their time and learn about the community they are visiting. For many of the students, this if their first time visiting the southwest.
These 10 students begin in the fall at Mizzou choosing where they want to volunteer for Spring Break. Once they are assigned they spend the entire winter fundraising for the trip to Colorado. Their expenses include lodging, food van rental and gas to get here. Once here community members chip in to help the students fulfill their dream trip of service and learning. Helping support this program locally are the Four Corners Back Country Horsemen, the National Mustang Association, Spring Creek Chapter, and the Mesa Verde Back Country Horsemen. Other long time contributors to the program are Al and LaVonne Heaton (local ranchers) and Dan and Anita Fernandez.
Recent projects include rebuilding boundary fence in the Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area. Additionally they contribute time to Sand Canyon and Mud Springs trail projects. In the past projects have included weed removal, sign installation, clean-ups and more.
Different students return every year with enthusiasm to give back to public lands and we appreciate them.
To learn more about how you can be involved with this program contact Kathe Hayes