Colorado Parks & Wildlife Expands Library ‘Check Out’ Program

By Lauren Truitt

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is expanding the successful ‘Check-Out Colorado State Parks Program’ from public libraries to Colorado’s publicly funded college and university libraries in 2017. Starting April 1, academic libraries across the state will offer state park passes to “check out” along with an activity backpack.

“We hope that the ability to check out a state park pass from the local library encourages people to check out Colorado state parks,” said CPW Director Bob Broscheid. “Colorado state parks offer some of the state’s best opportunities for wildlife viewing and recreation. We want this program to be a resource for local communities and individuals to access the parks.”

Based on the positive survey data from participant evaluations, library staff and park managers, CPW is continuing the Check-Out State Parks program another year. Following the 2016 pilot program, surveys found that the program works: many visited a state park for the first time using a pass checked out from their local library. An infographic available on the CPW website provides a summary of the survey results.

The Check-Out Colorado State Parks Program is an initiative with the State Library offering residents the ability to reserve and check-out a free park pass for entrance into all 42 state parks along with an adventure backpack that is filled with park information, educational activities and binoculars.

The park pass and backpack can be checked out for up to seven days and may be renewed according the participating library’s renewal policy.

Visit your local library or check the Participating Libraries List to find a library near you. (Hint: Pagosa’s Ruby Sisson Library is included in the list.) Users are encouraged to post pictures to Instagram and Twitter using #CheckOutColorado.

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