On Oct. 6, Boulder County Parks & Open Space held the annual Land Conservation Awards ceremony to celebrate 2020 and 2021 award winners. (Last year’s ceremony was canceled because of pandemic guidelines for group gatherings.) Here are highlights from the special gathering about the 2021 recipients.
“This was one of the most meaningful awards ceremonies I have experienced at Parks & Open Space. We were welcomed and centered with a Native American Flute player, Joseph Lam, calling us together, and he closed the ceremony with a traditional drum and song. The awardees were all so deserving of recognition for their passion and commitment to helping make Boulder County a better place.”
– Therese Glowacki, Parks & Open Space Director
Land Conservation Award honors individuals, families and organizations whose contributions demonstrate notable achievements in preserving Boulder County’s agricultural lands. Margaret Geick and Jean Moore, of the M.A. Tucker Investment Company, formed in the late 1800s, preserved their 324 acres of land by selling the property to Boulder County. This sale removed nine development rights in the Indian Peaks Environmental Conservation Area, just west of Nederland. The property contains the North Beaver Creek B3 high biodiversity area, critical wildlife habitat, riparian and wetland areas, and significant natural communities surrounded by 755 acres of protected and preserved lands, resulting in a continuous area of more than 1,000 acres.
Environmental Stewardship Award recognizes individuals, families, or organizations that make significant contributions in land protection and/or management. Jan Chu was nominated for her long-time commitment to increasing awareness of butterflies and in turn, influencing peoples’ appreciation of nature overall. For more than two decades, Chu has been instrumental in increasing knowledge about and appreciation for butterflies and their role in ecosystem function. She created a network of naturalists throughout Boulder County and the northern Front Range who are engaged in studying butterflies and protecting their habitats.
Heritage Award honors individuals or organizations whose contributions demonstrate achievements in preserving Boulder County’s heritage through substantial privately funded historic preservation projects. Under the guidance and leadership of Wesley Black Elk and Marty Chase Alone, the Indian Mountain Native American Veterans reestablished the Inipi Ceremony (purification sweat lodge) on the Southdown Indian Mountain property. The ceremonies performed by Black Elk and Chase Alone have provided important community gathering and spiritual healing for veterans and other people suffering from the effects of combat, military service, and other life-altering events. The ceremonies have also created a significant connection to land-based experiences for Native Americans in the Boulder and Denver areas.
Outstanding Volunteer Award honors individuals whose leadership and support of the Parks & Open Space volunteer programs have enhanced our community partnerships and improved public service. This year, there were two recipients.
Elizabeth Kellogg has been volunteering with Parks & Open Space, as well as other land management organizations located in, and outside of, Boulder County, since 2005, and her passion continues to blossom with every growing season. Kellogg has contributed nearly 1,600 hours to the department as a seed collection scout, crew leader, willow and milkweed monitor, and Peck Native Seed Garden steward.
Anne Cure is a long-time supporter of the Boulder County CSU Extension agriculture program. She is a leader among market farmers in Colorado and is sought out for engagement in national slow-food events. Ann has served as a board member for the Colorado Organic Producers Association and the Boulder County Farmers Markets. She owns Cure Organic Farm in Boulder and provided access to her farm for nine years to allow CSU Extension to collect data on irrigation water use for a long-term research project.