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  • Episode 104 – Geoffrey May, Trails & Restoration Project Manager, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 104 - Geoffrey May, Trails & Restoration Project Manager, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
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Geoffrey May, Trails & Restoration Project Manager at Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, discusses the organization’s landscape regeneration, wetlands restoration, trail construction and maintenance, and trail and road obliteration work throughout wilderness and open space landscapes in Colorado. Their motto is “Healing Land and Building Community.”

In 2020, the organization mobilized 2,236 volunteers for 21,194 volunteer hours, planting 7,302 trees, shrubs, and other perennials, benefiting an estimated 116,737 acres of habitat, and maintained, constructed, or closed 38.5 miles of wilderness trails. Already in 2021, the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (WRV) has 2,255 volunteers registered and 114 events already scheduled – with many more to come! Not only are these outings a great way to form new friendships and build community while restoring ecosystems, they also provide tremendous mental health and physical health benefits.

With an emphasis on using native plants, and by consulting several ecological and biological technical experts, WRV also deploys mechanical removal techniques (instead of toxic chemical herbicides) to root out invasive, non-native species like Myrtle Spurge, Tamarisk, and Russian Olive. They partner with many organizations (Leave No Trace, National Forest Foundation), as well as several state and local government agencies (Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife) in order to coordinate projects, best practices, and efforts. Their youth program is especially focused on under-served inner city and minority communities, and partners with Afro Outdoors and Brown Girls Hike to help achieve their “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) goals. A seasoned mountaineer, Geoffrey leads many of the alpine and sub-alpine projects, and reminds us that they have opportunities of varying strenuous levels for people of all abilities to join.

Geoffrey began his relationship with WRV as a volunteer in 2013 while studying Biology at Metro State University in Denver, joined the staff as a seasonal, and is now a project manager for the organization. Previously he managed projects for a nation-wide firm specializing in power grid inspections where he spent many hours in a helicopter over New England and the east coast. In addition to managing trails and restoration projects, Geoffrey manages the Cook Program at WRV where he trains and coordinates volunteer cooks to help feed our crews in the field. He is also a part of WRV’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force working to incorporate DEI principles into the WRV community. Geoffrey grew up in Dallas, and has lived in Colorado for 15 years where his family has multi-generational roots.

RESOURCES:
Wildlands Restoration Volunteers: www.wlrv.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wrv.restore/
Society for Ecological Restoration: www.ser.org
Leave No Trace: www.lnt.org
Outdoor Afro: outdoorafro.com
Brown Girls Hike: www.facebook.com/BrownGirlsHike
National Forest Foundation: www.nationalforests.org
Great Outdoors Colorado: www.goco.org
Colorado Parks & Wildlife: cpw.state.co.us

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