The start of a new year
is a time when we evaluate how the past year went, and look forward. New Year's resolutions typically cover a litany of ways we look to improve ourselves; dieting and exercise, reading more, watching less TV, etc, etc. We’ve all made these kinds of resolutions, likely to mixed — if not disappointing — results.
This year, let’s try something new. How about some outdoor recreation resolutions? Here are some suggestions, most of which won’t cost you anything:
Hike, bike or take your horse on a different trail each week. We have plenty of local options
Donate to or become a member of the “friends” group of your favorite park, or join an outdoors advocacy group.
Volunteer to help clean up a park or work on an existing or new trail.
Instead of hiking or biking the same number of miles on your favorite trail, add a mile. Then two.
Learn the history of the trail you’re hiking on or the park you’re visiting and share the story with your friends and family. It makes it a lot more fun
Attend a city or county parks advisory board meeting and learn how decisions are made regarding our parks, trails and open spaces. Better yet, speak out on something important to you and get involved in those decisions. Be heard.
Resolve to be a good steward of the outdoors: Stay on established trails and don’t litter. Take it a step further and bring a trash bag to pick up litter.
Learn a new outdoor-related skill, such as map-reading or how to use a compass.
Buy a state and/or U.S. parks pass and use it. Often.
Take outdoor photography lessons. Even your cell phone can take great pictures if you know how to make the most of it.
If you’ve made resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, watch less TV, etc., getting outdoors is a sure-fire way to help achieve those goals. Besides, which would you rather do: exercise in an indoor gym, or get your exercise in Mother Nature’s great outdoors?
Bob Falcone is a firefighter, arson investigator, non-profit board president, college instructor, photographer, hiker and small business owner who has lived in Colorado Springs for 23 years. You can follow him on Twitter @hikingbob, Facebook, or visit his website Hikingbob.com. E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to firstname.lastname@example.org.