MEEKER I At the recent Partners in the Outdoors Conference in Breckenridge, April 25, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) honored the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District (ERBM) with the 2018 Partner Collaboration of the Year award.
Executive Director Sean VonRoenn received the award for ERBM. During the ceremony at the three-day conference, several additional agencies and organizations received awards for their efforts to encourage conservation and promote participation in outdoor recreation.
Nominated by local CPW personnel, the ERBM earned the award for working collaboratively with CPW and many other agencies and groups on several community projects, including fishing events, nature walks, field days and outdoor activities featuring presentations by CPW staff. In addition, CPW credits the ERBM for their tireless efforts to encourage hunting, partnering with CPW to provide local hunter education classes at their well-equipped facility in Meeker.
CPW’s District Wildlife Manager Bailey Franklin says the partnership with ERBM has been a boon to the agency’s goals of getting people connected to wildlife resources and the outdoors in the Meeker area.
“As just one example of how beneficial this partnership has been; our annual Family Ice Fishing Day at Lake Avery had over 200 participants this year, which for a smaller community like Meeker is an outstanding turnout,” said Franklin. “The ERBM promoted the event, provided prizes for the youth participants and partnered up with the local Meeker Lions Club to provide a warm lunch for all participants. We are very grateful for their exemplary partnership and help with so many outdoor events and activities in the Meeker area.”
Franklins says prior to the partnership with ERBM, local family fishing events had been sponsored, organized, advertised and implemented entirely by local CPW staff and volunteers such as the Meeker Lions Club.
“Today, these events have grown in popularity and participation and have become a much better experience for the participants due to more personnel and resources available for planning, advertising and implementation, and we owe much credit to the ERBM and their dedicated staff,” he said.
The ERBM has recently partnered with CPW, and others, to create a one-surface-acre trout fishing pond and other trails/recreational amenities at Circle Park in Meeker.
“They have not only provided funding for the Circle Park project, but they’ve also worked with many different groups, agencies and partners to make the pond a reality,” said Franklin. “This will be a tremendous asset to the local community and we are extremely excited about the Circle Park Fish Pond. With everyone’s continued efforts, the project will be complete by late fall of 2019.”
Groups and agencies ERBM is working with on the Circle Park Project include the CPW’s Fishing is Fun Program, Town of Meeker, White River Electric Association, Meeker Cemetery District, Colorado River District, Colorado Water Conservation Board, GOCO, Meeker Chamber, various local ranches, local engineering firms and construction companies.
“I can tell you it is not at all easy to work on such a project with so many moving parts and so many agencies to work with,” said Franklin. “But ERBM has made it their mission to make it happen. We are grateful for their continued partnership. The award is very well deserved.”
The Partners in the Outdoors program brings together diverse interests from across the entire spectrum of the outdoors to advance and balance both outdoor recreation and conservation in Colorado.