Steamboat Springs re-purposes parking meters into donation stations at trail heads around town
Ten of these re-purposed parking meters are set up at trail heads around Steamboat Springs. They've been active for three weeks and have raised almost $1,000 so far.
A donation meter stands at a trail head on Emerald Mountain in Steamboat Springs.
The donation meters only take credit cards. The minimum donation is five dollars.
A hiker walks past a donation meter on a trail in Steamboat Springs.
Helen Beall with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation helped get the donation meters from idea to reality.
Julie Hagenbuch is an avid mountain biker. She uses the trails around Steamboat almost every day. She came up with the idea for the donation meters after her father-in-law told her about parking meters in Los Angeles being used to raise money for the homeless.
The donation meters are part of a larger plan to raise $1.5 million by 2026 to permanently fund trail maintenance in northwest Colorado. Interest from that pool of money will turn into $50,000 grants to be used for maintenance.