Glenwood Springs area residents who might not be able to afford outdoor recreation now have a chance to jump into the action with the creation of the Glenwood Springs Gear Library.
The library provides free, or low-cost rental, outdoor recreation equipment like snowshoes, cross-country skis, fishing gear, standup paddleboards, kayaks and mountain bikes as well as safety equipment such as helmets and life vests.
The Gear Library was born from a partnership between Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC), the coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, the Glenwood Springs Parks & Recreation Department, outdoor clothes retailer SmartWool and the VF Foundation, the charity arm of VF Corp.
“Colorado’s majestic outdoors belongs to us all and we are pleased to join local officials and our industry partners to foster inclusive participation,” said OREC Director Nathan Fey in a statement. “We share Governor (Jared) Polis’ vision of a Colorado for all. This gear library helps open up the Roaring Fork Valley’s great outdoors for everyone to enjoy the wide-ranging benefits of Colorado’s outdoors.”
To help keep the effort as local as possible, most of the gear was purchased from Colorado businesses like High Society Paddle Boards and other retailers.
To address any language accessibility issues, all instructions and rental agreements/waivers are in Spanish and English.
“The City of Glenwood Springs is very excited to offer a Gear Library to our community to enable those who may not otherwise be able to afford to participate or haven’t found the right avenue to participate an opportunity to experience the vast array of outdoor recreation activities we have available,” said Karstin Moser, Parks and Recreation Administrator, in a statement.
Glenwood Springs officials got the idea for the Gear Library while participating in a Recreation Economy for Rural Communities workshop. It’s a new “planning assistance program” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the USDA Forest Service and the Northern Border Regional Commission.
OREC is part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.