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By Nadia Werby
Special to The SUN
CRIA received this award in recognition of its work in helping to get Chimney Rock designated as a National Monument.
The Caroline Bancroft award was named for the Colorado historian and is given annually by History Colorado to an individual, organization or museum that has contributed to public awareness, interest or involvement in Colorado history, or to its advancement.
In making their selection for the award, the Miles and Bancroft Awards Committee noted that they felt that CRIA’s efforts had, “spurred new visibility and publicity” and that it, “shows what a highly dedicated group of volunteers can do!”
There are approximately 80 friendly volunteers who are the heart of CRIA, which operates the interpretive program at Chimney Rock National Monument. While there are paid staff members, it’s the volunteers who do most of the tasks that make the program work.
Financial support for CRIA is derived from tour and program fees, merchandise sales, grants and generous donations from Friends of Chimney Rock. Since it became a National Monument, visitation to Chimney Rock has increased and will continue to do so, but CRIA has not been given any additional state or federal funding. Therefore, public support is vital for continued programming and site preservation.
If you are interested in joining the volunteer team, or are able to make a donation, please go to www.chimneyrockco.org.
CRIA operates in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the San Juan National Forest.