JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- Service has always been a part of Mark Hinchman's life, but maintaining Colorado's beautiful hiking and biking trails is the Air Force veteran's true labor of love.
"I like being outdoors. I like being able to do work and get immediate feedback on the quality of work I’ve done," Hinchman said.
Hinchman works the trails and hillsides of JeffCo Open Space, keeping our most beautiful outdoor areas safe and pristine.
"He has unbelievable work ethic and he’s very enthusiastic," said fellow volunteer, Cliff Deakyne.
Hinchman has been a dedicated volunteer of JeffCo Open Space for the past eight years.
"He’s one of our frequent fliers, probably averages 250 to 300 hours a year, does outstanding work, asks a lot of questions and is very experienced, hard worker, easy to get along with and loves to tell stories," said JeffCo Open Space trails coordinator, Scott Waters.
On a particular day where we met up with volunteers, Hinchman and the crew are clearing drains and re-seeding trails that are too wide or not supposed to be trails at all, and covering them with slash.
"In this section of the trail here, it’s been braided by people walking around the wet areas and iced over snow in the wintertime and you can see what was supposed to be a 3 to 4 foot trail is now 20 feet," Hinchman explained.
There are about 210 miles of trails in JeffCo that need to be maintained twice a year. Hinchman has helped fill that need for the last eight years and he volunteers with other outdoor groups all over the state.
"I do five or six days a week," Hinchman said. "Usually Monday is my day off. I clean all the equipment that I used over the weekend and do it again."
"He’s a very concerned citizen I would say and looks to the future, which I think is really important. He wants to give back," said fellow volunteer, Marsha Trout.
If you see Hinchman out on the trails, make sure you thank him for keeping our beautiful state, beautiful for years to come.
Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.