Maybe Denver was first, in 2008, but soon Los Angeles, Phoenix, Palm Beach, Cincinnati followed with a novel approach to combat a persistent urban problem: repurposing parking meters to collect spare change to help the homeless.
And now, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, has applied the idea to a nagging recreational headache – funding trail maintenance. Is this an idea that’s ready for the Adirondacks’ High Peaks, where foot and automobile traffic are running ahead of the means to cope?
In Steamboat, ten orange meters were installed last month next to trailhead kiosks. The signs don’t ask hikers for spare change, but rather a credit card donation to help fund upkeep of the area’s extensive trail system. There’s a five-dollar minimum, and it’s strictly voluntary. And apparently successful.
Helen Beall of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, the umbrella group that oversees the effort, said they raised $750 in their first month.
You can read more about the effort in a report by the Steamboat Pilot & Today HERE.
Photo provided by the City of Steamboat Springs.