Ava’s Experience Working with CFI

This past fall, I spent a semester in Colorado at HMI. An important part of HMI’s emphasis on outdoor education is teaching us the LNT principles and how to reduce our impact while hiking and living in the outdoors. During one of our 18 day backpacking trips, we volunteered with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI). CFI works to reduce the impact of human foot traffic on the Colorado Fourteeners by building trails and markers to these trails. For 3 days, we base camped with CFI and helped them build the trail up Mt. Huron. We worked together to carry boulders using a net and chop down dead trees. We also dug massive holes in the woods so that we could put the dirt from those holes onto the trail, to make the dirt more firmly packed and thus reduce the impact of runoff during storms. This experience was impactful, as I learned about the hard work it takes to maintain trails. Through downpours, wind, and thunder, we kept working to preserve this trail. This experience made me grateful to initiatives like CFI, for without their work, many trails wouldn’t exist.

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