Books aren’t the only thing you can check out from the Montrose Regional Library! There is a program funded by the Colorado Department of Education, State Library, local library systems, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife that will allow you to get into a state park for FREE. If you like exploring our beautiful state, that is a program you’ll love. If you don’t know about the “Check Out Colorado State Parks” program, you definitely need to keep reading this article.

We live in such an amazing place. Colorado has so much outdoor recreation to offer, and the “Check Out Colorado State Parks” wants to encourage Coloradans to visit the State Parks. This program was originally offered in 2017 and it did so well that Colorado Parks and Wildlife, library managers, and park managers decided to continue it for another year. Many libraries across the state are offering this program, and our library is one of them!

What does this program offer? Well, you are able to check out a backpack that has essentials for your State Park experience. That backpack will include two park passes, and be filled with binoculars, and information for educational activities. It’s simple, you check out the backpack, use the passes to get into a nearby state park for FREE, and then use the backpack to help you explore the state park. You can hike or bike on trails, discover wildlife in their natural habitat, visit a nature center, or have a picnic. If you are wanting even more, with a license or camping  reservation, you can even try fishing or overnight camping. This program is a great opportunity to get outdoors and utilize the resources we have. Make sure you jump on this opportunity fast, because it is a very popular program, utilized by many.

Last year the “Check Out Colorado State Parks” program had around 6,980 backpacks checked out, that’s 134 checkouts per week! The program wanted to encourage Coloradans to visit State Parks and learn more about what they have to offer, and it worked. Eighty-three percent of participants agreed that their park experience helped them learn more about nature, and ninety-four percent said the program changed their view about what libraries have to offer. After experiencing the “Check Out Colorado State Parks” Coloradans seem thrilled with the experience, and are likely to keep exploring our great State Parks. Ninety-eight percent of participants said they are likely to recommend a visit to a state park, seventy-six percent said they are likely to buy a day pass to visit a State Park, and fifty-five percent said they are likely to buy an annual pass to State Parks.

We live in such an amazing community, with many opportunities. When you are ready to jump on your opportunity to live here, I’d be happy to help! I hope you get out there and enjoy the great outdoors, and amazing parks our lovely state has to offer.