Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Receive Beacon Award

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Receive Beacon Award

Posted on 5/31/2017


The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) award recognizes successful efforts to use technology in improving outdoor recreation.

Washington, D.C. – May 31, 2017 – Colorado’s largest outdoor stewardship organization, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), was one of four organizations receiving a 2017 Beacon Award by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) The Beacon Award recognizes outstanding successes in harnessing the power of technology to improve public recreation experiences and federal recreation program management; VOC was recognized in partnership with the Colorado Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the creation of the Public Lands Champion digital badge, available through the YourCO mobile app.

The YourCO mobile app, available on iPhone and Android, was launched by VOC in 2015 as part of a broader “DIY Stewardship” movement to encourage people to become active stewards of Colorado’s outdoors in their daily lives. The app offers fun and easy tasks, like picking up trash or using public transit, and rewards users with digital badges and prizes along the way.

The newest badge to be made available is the Public Lands Champion Badge, developed in partnership with the BLM Colorado State Office. The badge promotes education and stewardship of Colorado’s public lands and guides users to important BLM youth initiatives such as the Junior Ranger Program and Junior Explorer booklets.

The technology was recognized with the Beacon Award for its unique approach to making stewardship accessible to people of all ages and abilities; the app has been downloaded 1,000 times and 1,860 badges have been earned. Ann Baker Easley, Executive Director of VOC, accepted the award at the Partners Outdoors 2017 conference in Washington, D.C.

“It’s an honor to receive the 2017 Beacon Award for our YourCO app and digital badges,” said Easley, "VOC is always exploring ways to engage more people in both hands-on and DIY stewardship. We hope that the YourCO app and our partnership with the Bureau of Land Management can serve as an inspiration for other outdoor stewardship organizations and land managers to join together and utilize technology to serve our public lands.”

The 2017 Beacon Award was also awarded to Katherine Kassander of the Bureau of Land Management Eastern States-Northeastern States District, the Northern Region of the United States Forest Service (USFS), and the National Park Service.

To learn more about Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, visit www.voc.org. To learn more about the Bureau of Land Management in Colorado, visit www.blm.gov/colorado.

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About Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC)
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a statewide nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to motivating and enabling people to be active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. Since 1984, VOC’s award-winning volunteer, youth, and leadership training programs have engaged nearly 110,000 people of all ages in caring for Colorado’s outdoors – a total donated labor value of $22 million. Such volunteer efforts have made a lasting impact on Colorado through hands-on work in fire and flood restoration, trail building and maintenance, tree planting and re-forestation, and more. For more information, visit www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.

About Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

About the American Recreation Coalition

The American Recreation Coalition is a nonprofit, Washington-based association providing a unified voice for recreation interests on issues such as public land management.  ARC’s membership is more than 100 organizations, including national and regional associations and corporations that represent a major share of the $650 billion a year recreation/leisure industry and enthusiast groups representing millions of recreationists.  Since 1979, ARC has forged public-private partnerships to enhance and protect outdoor recreation opportunities and resources.  ARC conducts research, organizes national meetings and disseminates information, including through its Web site www.funoutdoors.com.  ARC plays a leading role in key coalitions, including the Coalition for Recreational Trails, and leads efforts to celebrate June as Great Outdoors Month® including National Get Outdoors Day, a national effort to invite children to enjoy healthy, active outdoor lives.

Media Contact
Kellie Flowers
303-715-1010 ext. 130
kellie@voc.org