Grand Junction resident is first to complete Colorado Parks and Wildlife's State Parks Passport Program
Credit: CPW News Release
GRAND JUNCTION - The first person to complete Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s State Parks Passport Program said she saw the program on a television commercial, but didn’t think much about it until a week later when she was out with her husband fishing at Vega Lake at Vega State Park. Grand Junction resident Dianna Unitt said she took a break from fishing to go over to the Vega State Park visitors center and grab a passport. Dianna said she got her passport stamped at four state parks near Grand Junction, and that’s when she knew she wanted to visit them all.
“We thought, this will be fun, let’s do it,” she said. “We have a Colorado map on our wall and we put little thumbtacks in each one of the state parks and fish hatcheries so we could see what we were working with. Then we divided it up into smaller day trips.”
Dianna and her husband Chuck loaded up their cabover camper with their two shih-tzus Buddy and Hutch and hit the road.
“We camped wherever we wound up for the night,” she said. “Going from state park to state park, you know there’s a campground at the end of the road and you’ll have a place to stay. It was September and October so the colors were just absolutely magnificent. It was the perfect time to do it.”
Dianna started collecting stamps in her passport on September 10, but after she got 10 parks completed, her husband Chuck decided he would like to participate as well. After Dianna completed the passport program on October 26, the couple revisited the parks and hatcheries (again!) that Chuck had missed so he could get his passport stamped. Chuck finished the program on November 11.
“All of the rangers were just as excited as we were when we came in to get our stamps - especially the last ones,” Dianna said. “They were really excited to see the stamps and see that somebody had finished it … Toward the end it kind of became a quest. If there was nobody in the visitors center, we sat there until somebody showed up. We were not going to leave the visitors center without that stamp.”
Ready to start your own adventure? Head to a state park or hatchery near you to pick up your passport. With 58 colored pages, the passport booklet offers insight into each park and hatchery and allows visitors to collect stamps at every location. Each stamp is unique and represents a significant feature of that site. Once you have visited a new location, you will be able to use your passport to record the date, as well as your favorite part of the visit.
As you make your way around Colorado, different prizes will be awarded as you reach new milestones. Once you have received your last stamp, make sure to have a park or hatchery representative certify the back page of your passport. You will then be able to send in a photo of your passport to collect your completion prize. Please visit cpw.state.co.us/Passport for further instructions on completing your passport and a list of available prizes.