News Coverage

10 July 2023

THE ASPEN TIMES: Latino Celebration of Public Lands Will Focus On Living With Wildfire

Category: News Coverage

Hundreds of people from the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valley Latino community will be celebrating Latino Conservation Week on July 22 at Two Rivers Park with outdoor family activities, live music, and food vendors from 4 to 8 p.m.

Organized by the city of Glenwood Springs, Wilderness Workshop’s Defiende Nuestra Tierra program, and the White River National Forest, ¡Celebremos al aire libre! Latino Conservation Week will provide opportunities for families to come together and have a fun day experiencing public lands and connecting with environmental and other community organizations. More than 25 local partners are participating in the event.

The celebration will include live music by Diamante Tropical and Grupo Andariego, a performance by Aspen Sante Fe’s Ballet Folklorico, salsa lessons, dancing, food trucks, and kids’ activities such as face painting and bounce castles. 

 “We have been working closely with Defiende Nuestra Tierra and other partners over the past several years to break down barriers that prevent equitable access to outdoor spaces for all area residents,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. 

“The outdoors is part of who we are as a community, and this event is part of making sure everyone feels welcome and empowered to enjoy time in our public lands,” said city of Glenwood Springs Community Engagement Coordinator Gladys Arango-Marcon. “We had great success with last year’s event with so many families and friends from across the valley coming together and we can’t wait to see everyone come out for the fun again!”

Before the celebration in the park, the public is invited to participate in a variety of outdoor activities, including guided hiking and rafting trips, a restoration project to reduce wildfire fuels and improve wildlife habitat, and free bike rentals. All events are bilingual, and registration is required.

More than 25 organizations will have booths and information about additional outdoor activities and opportunities. Wildland fire experts will be on-hand during the event to provide bilingual information about living with wildfire in the Colorado River and Roaring Fork valleys.

“The Defiende Nuestra Tierra program at Wilderness Workshop means “protect our land” — something we know Latinos in Western Colorado are passionate about. ¡Celebremos al aire libre! is an exciting opportunity to help deepen the connection between the Latino community and the public lands that provide us with clear air and water, jobs, and abundant recreational opportunities. This event brings our community together around a shared love of public lands and the out-of-doors,” said Defiende Nuestra Tierra Director Omar Sarabia.

A theme of this year’s event is living with wildfire. 

“Wildfire is as much a part of the landscape in western Colorado as the wildlife and weather,” said White River National Forest Fire Prevention Office Mary Flynn. “We want to encourage all residents in the Colorado River and Roaring Fork valleys to understand the role they can play in helping us all live with wildfire.” 

Parking at Two Rivers Park will be limited to event participants and vendors Saturday, so boaters and other recreationists should plan ahead. Event attendees are encouraged to carpool, walk or bike to the event.

Written by The Aspen Times.


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