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The Collective Effort at the Backyard Collective

October 25th, 2014

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It’s not often that we can collectively give back to the one thing in our lives that fuels our passion and provides us an escape from reality, Nature. Let’s face the facts, between all of our daily obligations and our personal pursuits, time is stretched thin and we’re just grateful for any spare moments we can spend making memories in the outdoors. As an individual, you can figure out small and unique ways to give your thanks to mother-nature for all that she has provided you, yet joined by hundreds to provide that same gratitude can be remarkable.

The Backyard Collective is an event, organized by The Conservation Alliance, at which those who have dedicated their lives to outdoor stewardship and those who love the outdoor pursuits can come together for the same reason. We at Osprey value this event because although we help others pursue outdoors by providing them highly innovative gear; this is our chance to return our appreciation to the outdoors for all that it has taught us and provided us.

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Founded in 1989 by outdoor industry businesses including REI & Patagonia, The Conservation Alliance began with the mission to increase outdoor industry support for conservation efforts. In other words, the businesses making gear and apparel for use in the outdoors by outdoor enthusiasts committed to protecting the wild places enjoyed by their customers. The Conservation Alliance today is made up of 185 outdoor industry companies (Osprey Packs is a proud member!) that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations, specifically community-based campaigns focused protecting on threatened wild habitat — preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Since inception in 1989, Conservation Alliance funding has helped save more than 42 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,825 miles of rivers; stop or remove 26 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase nine climbing areas. In 2014 to-date, The Conservation Alliance has awarded a record $1.55 million in grants.

The Conservation Alliance’s Backyard Collective events further connect members of the alliance with the outdoors by bringing together member company employees and local grantees for a day of environmental action. via The Conservation Alliance:

These events allow us to get out of the office and get our hands dirty; doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards…The BYC program brings together members of the Conservation Alliance community and illustrates firsthand the benefits of conservation efforts and the larger work of The Conservation Alliance.

The Conservation Alliance organized seven Backyard Collectives in 2014, bringing together over 1,000 member company employees, 39 member companies and 36 nonprofits,  to accomplish an amazing amount of work including trail building and maintenance, tree planting, invasive species removal, habitat restoration, and flood debris removal. Each event included a volunteer fair, allowing volunteers to learn more about local nonprofit organizations and projects they can get involved with in their local community.

On September 19th, we were joined by almost 200 people at the 2014 Backyard Collective in Boulder to reconstruct trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park that were drastically affected by the mud-slides of 2013. The year of 2013 was a rough one for the front-range of Colorado. Record-breaking mudslides and fires took their toll on our State and National parks, depDSC03346ositing debris in small streams and channels that have altered countless trails.

Our team of 7 volunteers drove a total of 16 hours from Southwest Colorado so that we could partake in this event. To hear about an environmental tragedy in the local news and to see the results of it are two entirely different experiences. To listen to the State Park Ranger explain the effects of what these mudslides did to the trails, such as diverging streams and bringing down trees, was a point in which I realized that we as a community, as a collective effort, were responsible for the reviving the trails and areas that we are so fortunate to enjoy.

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That day, 175   volunteers showed up with the same idea and enthusiasm. The collective energy of these outdoor enthusiasts was contagious and inspiring. We all went to work, reviving 4-6 large areas of the State park. We worked side-by-side, complete strangers, yet all with the same commitment.

I am personally honored that my company and our employees, have always valued the outdoor experience above all. The Conservation Alliance provided a unique experience for both our 7 volunteers and the 164 others that joined us that day. Although our individual actions may have been small such as clearing steams and trail work, our collective effort will provide outdoor memories for those to come.

If you would like to be a part of collective effort to protect and conserve our outdoors, be sure to check out the campaigns and grassroots organizations funded by the Conservation Alliance or any of the other non-profit organizations that participated in the Boulder Backyard Collective, including:

Volunteer for Outdoor Colorado

The Access Fund

1% of the Planet

Conservation Colorado

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causes, Conservation, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life , , , , , , , , , ,

2011 Boulder Backyard Collective Round-Up

September 5th, 2011

It’s always a fantastic feeling to donate a little sweat equity to give back to the places we play in and the 2011 Backyard Collective was no exception.  Backyard Collective’s were started back in 2008 as a program of The Conservation Alliance.  In essence, they bring Conservation Alliance member companies together with grantees for a day of service work.  Put a bunch of outdoor industry people together with environmental not-for-profit folks and that adds up to a LOT of work done in one short day.  This is an energetic and motivated demographic that’s not afraid to get dirty!

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causes, Conservation, Events , , ,

Boulder Backyard Collective

August 24th, 2009

Wow!  I am so proud.  Last Friday, August 21, 2009 a group of outdoor industry companies and environmental not for profits got together for an extraordinary day of service work in beautiful Eldorado Canyon State Park outside of Boulder, Colorado.  this was the sixth Backyard Collective, a series of events concevied and executed by Conservation NEXT.  As a board member for the Conservation Alliance, I am really excited to see these events take shape and continue to grow.  For outdoor company employees, what better way to learn and understad about the environmental and conservation groups that their company’s Conseration Alliance dues support.  And for the grantees, what better way to connect with the cool outdoor companies that help them further their misson?!  Some key stats:

But the biggest thanks of all go to Deanna Lloyd (The Forest Group) and Brook Shinksy (The North Face),  two of our awesome NEXTers who have been putting these events together.  From the killer goodie bags, to the tasty lunches and HUGE goodie trays following the event – they really made the hard work worthwhile.  Great gear was raffled off at the end of the day and everyone walked away with their own Conservation NEXT shopping bag filled with great stuff from our outdoor company participants.

Last but not least, big thanks to my Osprey crew and Verde PR.  A group of four drove up from the 4-Corners, our Boulder based Rocky Mountain Sales Rep added his toil and sweat to the event and we proudly hosted the Colorado Environmental Coalition under our tent.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

Gareth Martins

Director of Marketing, Osprey Packs and proud Conservation Alliance Board Member

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Conservation, Events, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities , , ,

Backyard Collective tomorrow!

August 20th, 2009

Backyard logoHey Front Rangers! ConservationNEXT (a program from the Conservation Alliance) is hosting a full day of trail restoration in the climbers paradise known as Eldorado Canyon State Park tomorrow (Friday 8/21). The Backyard Collective vision is to bring together outdoor industry companies for a day of collective action in our backyards. As host for this edition, Osprey is hoping you can come out and lend a hand by joining volunteers from Osprey, Conservation Alliance grantees & friends for a day of service and celebration. If you can’t make it out check back Monday for a recap of the day’s events with photos and commentary.

WHAT: With the help of The Colorado Mountain Club, ConservationNEXT will host a day of trail restoration at Eldorado Canyon State Park. This area, has suffered from such severe budget cuts that they were unable to hire a seasonal trail crew this summer to maintain their hiking and climbing access trails that are used by over 200,000 people each year.  The Recreation Manager is desperate for volunteer help, and we will provide a range of activities from building steps to pulling weeds, depending on the interest and ability level of volunteers.

WHEN: August 21st 2009.  We will host a morning & afternoon work session with catered lunch served from 12:00-1:00 on site.

  • Morning session – 9:00-12:00
  • Lunch - 12:00-1:00
  • Afternoon session – 1:00-3:00
  • Celebration/Volunteer Fair & Raffle – 3:00 – 6:00

WHERE: Eldorado Canyon State Park

WHAT TO BRING: All equipment, tools and instruction will be provided. No experience necessary. Participants will receive a water bottle &water will be available on site.  You should dress in comfortable clothing that can get dirty, & don’t forget your shades. If you have leather work gloves you prefer to work with, please bring them, otherwise they will be provided.  The program will run in light rain, but will be rescheduled in the case of a full storm!   Please bring appropriate rain gear.

SCHEDULE:

  • Arrive at Eldorado State Park:  8:30AM
  • Please carpool, parking is very limited
    • 8:00AM –Carpool meeting spots – A representative of CMC will be on hand from 8:00 – 8:30 to assist at each meeting place:
      • Neptune Mountaineering – 633 S. Broadway #A, Boulder, CO 80305 -
      • The North Face – 1711 29th Street Boulder, CO 80301
      • Please note:  when you drive through the gate at Eldorado Canyon State Park tell them you’re with the Backyard Collective.
    • 8:30AM – Sign-in, get oriented, pick up swag bag
    • 9:00AM – Service project begins
    • 12:00PM – Break for lunch
    • 1:00PM – Service continues, 2nd session begins.
    • 3:00PM – End of 2nd session – party & volunteer fair begins!  Listen to Jonathan Lantz’ band Reverb Nation while enjoying light food & drinks.
  • 5:00PM – Raffle & wrap up!

CONTACTS:

  • Brook Shinsky – 303.717.3849 (ConservationNEXT)
  • Deanna Lloyd – 530.919.4534 (ConservationNEXT)
  • Anya Byers – 303.563.9767 (Colorado Mountain Club)
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Events, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities , , ,

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