Colorado’s natural resources have served as an important source of solace for so many people during the pandemic, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado State Library want all Coloradans to experience everything the great outdoors has to offer.
The Check Out State Parks program is a collaboration between state agencies that can help Coloradans visit state parks at no cost and experience everything the great outdoors has to offer through hands-on learning.
“We want to give all Coloradans the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature,” said Debbie Lininger, marketing specialist at Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “The Check Out State Parks program offers interactive backpacks that help you navigate all of our state parks. With so many outdoor spaces to explore and different types of recreation activities to enjoy, we included educational materials in each nature backpack to help you plan your next adventure and put nature theory into real-world practice.”
Backpacks Loaded with Learning Materials
Participating libraries offer one or two backpacks available for check out. Each backpack contains the following:
- Annual Colorado State Park Pass for free park entry (hang tag)
- Educational materials: Fishing Basics Instruction Sheet, Colorado Trees and Wildflower Guide, Colorado Wildlife Guide, Colorado Birds Guide, and Night Sky Guide.
- Your Guide to Colorado’s State Parks
- An activity ideas list
- Leave No Trace – Outdoor Ethics Card
“More than 2.8 million Coloradans have a public library card,” said Nicolle Davies, assistant commissioner of education at the Colorado Department of Education. “To reduce the community spread of COVID-19, we laminated each educational item in the backpacks for easy, effective cleaning between uses. The Check Out State Parks program is a very popular program among our Colorado community and we want people to still be able to take advantage of this program and learn about nature while feeling safe in the process.”
Library patrons can check out the backpack and park pass for up to seven days and use it to visit any Colorado state park.
Please Recreate Responsibly
Responsible recreation includes respecting seasonal trail closures, not walking on or damaging vegetation, disposing of trash and waste, properly distinguishing campfires, not touching or feeding wildlife, and following trail etiquette to respect others.
Learn more about the Care for Colorado- Leave No Trace principles and how to preserve Colorado for generations to come. Check with your local library about the availability of the backpack for check out.