Tread Lightly!, a leading national nonprofit empowering people to connect with nature and enjoy outdoor recreation, has partnered with Noble Energy, Inc. to support multiple-use access, sustainability, education and stewardship of America's natural resources. The initial focus of this new and innovative partnership will be on the Pawnee National Grassland, near the community of Greeley, Colorado.
The multifaceted "Nurturing with Nature" partnership is highlighted by the development of a unique educational program to connect Greeley students with the outdoors. By integrating outdoor ethics and skills education into local schools, Tread Lightly! and Noble Energy are providing Greeley's youth with direct exposure to nature. This type of exposure has proven essential for healthy childhood development and nurturing a society of good citizens and environmental stewards.
The Nurturing with Nature campaign also involves several hands-on projects centered around Restoration for Recreation, a Tread Lightly! initiative designed to help keep America's natural resources healthy, accessible and relevant to the public. Infrastructure improvement projects are scheduled through September 2015 at popular recreational areas including the Baker Draw area, the Main Draw OHV Area, and the Pawnee Buttes Trailhead.
"Nurturing with Nature is aimed at connecting people — especially kids — with nature to conserve and enjoy the great outdoors, and would not be possible without Noble's leadership and commitment to positively impacting the communities in which it operates," said Lori McCullough, executive director for Tread Lightly!. "Tread Lightly! is proud to bring Noble Energy and the U.S. Forest Service together to provide outdoor education for the area's youth and improve popular outdoor recreation areas and facilities."
"Our partnership with Tread Lightly! and the Forest Service is an investment in the future, the students and the local environment," said Chip Rimer, senior vice president, U.S. Onshore at Noble Energy. "It is a direct reflection of our commitment to support the communities where we operate and provide employees with volunteer opportunities that make a difference."
"The U.S. Forest Service utilizes this kind of public-private partnership to support access to our public lands," Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland Forest Supervisor Glenn Casamassa said. "Tread Lightly!, which has its roots in the Forest Service, serves an important role to help maintain the natural treasures that are so important to all of us.
Located in north central Colorado, the Pawnee National Grassland is managed by the U.S. Forest Service for multiple uses ranging from outdoor education to energy exploration to wildlife habitat. The area is visited annually by tens-of-thousands of outdoor enthusiasts who participate in off-highway vehicle riding, hiking, camping and bird watching, along with many other activities. It is also within a short driving distance of Noble Energy's U.S. Onshore operations headquarters in Denver.
The partnership is expected to have an immediate and long-term positive impact on the Pawnee National Grassland and surrounding community of Greeley, and it complements the U.S. Forest Service's mission of "caring for the land, serving people," as well as Noble's purpose: "Energizing the World, Bettering People's Lives." This innovative program will serve as a template that can be applied in other locations across the country.
More details and volunteer opportunities will be announced in the coming weeks.