I think we can all agree that it feels good to do good, can’t we? That might help account for the scores of nonprofits that call the Roaring Fork Valley home and the robust spirit of volunteerism that defines the valley’s citizens. I mean, sure, it’s nice to know that what we’re doing is helping others, but we’d be lying if we said that making ourselves feel better about ourselves wasn’t a large part of the equation.
For the private-jet crowd, it can be easy to just lavish money on some arts organization or whatnot and feel magnanimous about it, but that’s not really an option for us common folk. Thankfully, the valley also boasts a lot of organizations and events that not only let you give back through your actions, but actually feed you to thank you for your service. If you’re interested, two of the more intriguing ones are coming up this Friday and Saturday.
You can start your feel-good tour off on the leisurely side Friday morning by heading to Snowmass Village for the 38th annual Town Clean Up Day. An annual rite of spring, the popular event usually draws about 100 people and may have set a record last year with around 120 volunteers, according to Snowmass Village assistant town manager Travis Elliott.
“We’re hoping to get even more folks this year,” said Elliott. “If you’ve never been, it’s pretty fun. ”
Volunteers will meet at the Daly Lane Depot at the Snowmass Mall at 9 a.m. to receive area assignments, gloves, bags and tickets for lunch and prizes. Then, after a three-hour cleanup that will focus on the village parking lots and the Brush Creek corridor, everyone will reconvene in Snowmass Town Park at noon for a BBQ and party that will include prize giveaways for things like the most interesting and most unique trash picked up.
“I think last year someone found a car,” said Elliott.
On Saturday, having warmed up your volunteer muscles the day before, head down to the Prince Creek area outside of Carbondale and help the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (rfov.org) reroute the Lower Jen Trail from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Not coincidentally, May 19 just happens to be Colorado Public Lands Day, and RFOV plans to commemorate the occasion by rerouting the trail onto BLM land, thereby ensuring it will enjoy permanent public access.
Grab a shovel or pick ax provided for you, and break an honest sweat the old-fashioned way. Afterwards, join your fellow do-gooders for dinner and drinks provided gratis from RFOV, and then bask in the warm fuzzies you’ll get from a weekend of having done the right thing. You’ll be a better person for it, and if you volunteer for another RFOV project this summer, you’ll be entered to win a $4,500 mountain bike.
Not that that’s what motivates a selfless soul like you, of course, but it’s not a bad perk.