On the last day of this year’s Joe’s Valley Fest, 45 volunteers offered their time for the annual service day. One group of climbers headed to the New Joe’s climbing area for trail work, building rock stairs and retaining walls to help fight erosion and trail-cutting. Another group of climbers visited the Castle Dale Senior Citizen Center for a much-needed repaint, and carefully applied a fresh coat of white to the inside of the building. Laurel Weaver, the Director of the Senior Center wrote, “We feel privileged and honored for their kindness and hard work, and for the generous gift of their time. The center is clean and inviting and beautiful… They have blessed and lifted our entire community with their service.”
The Service Day has been a staple of the Joe’s Valley Fest since it started in 2015, giving climbers a chance to finish the weekend by working together on a local project. In 2021, volunteers painted the outside of Fatty’s Pizza & Grill, a popular local restaurant just 15 minutes from the boulders and, in 2020, climbers built a massive retaining wall below Lactation Station in Dairy Canyon, under the guidance of the United States Forest Service.
The Fest saw over 300 attendees in 2022, which allowed for two separate projects on Service Day, led by the newfound Joe’s Valley Coalition. Julie Janus, one of the founders of the Coalition, said, “Showing the locals we care not just about the rocks but about the overall area we’re visiting goes a long way towards building productive, long term relationships between the two communities. And seeing the big impact you can have on a local community is really satisfying on a personal level.” Julie, along with other well-known climbing advocates like Steven Jeffrey and Jimmy Keithley, created the Coalition to tackle year-round stewardship and community development projects around Joe’s Valley, as well as during the annual Joe’s Valley Fest.
About the Joe’s Valley Fest
Based in Joe’s Valley, Utah, the Joe’s Valley Fest is a non-profit 501c3 on a mission to enhance the local economy and build community by bringing rock climbers and locals together around our shared enthusiasm for the outdoors. Join us in Emery County the last weekend of September for our world-famous festival, where you’ll learn from professional climbers, connect with local artisans, and get rowdy during events like the annual rodeo. Keep an eye out for year-round projects from the Joe’s Valley Coalition, the experts on climbing advocacy, stewardship, and community outreach around Joe’s Valley.
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