ACES Annual Report 2020

Page 1

Page B


Science is our mechanism to inspire wonder and appreciation of nature.

Yellow warbler, Setophaga petechia. Photo taken at Hallam Lake as part of ACES’ Hallam Lake Bioblitz project in June 2019.

Page C – ACES Annual Report 2020


About ACES Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is a nonprofit environmental science education organization with three locations in the Roaring Fork watershed: Hallam Lake, Rock Bottom Ranch, and the Catto Center at Toklat. Making more than 125,000 annual education contacts, ACES reaches Colorado residents and visitors through guided hikes, environmental science lessons in schools and in the field, kids camps and adult classes, public lectures, community events, environmental education consulting, and more. Our programs focus on ecological literacy, regenerative agriculture, forest and ecosystem health, land restoration, and environmental civic leadership. ACES also partners with land trusts, public agencies, government entities, and other non–profits to collaborate on regional land stewardship efforts. Projects include restoration and cooperative management on open space, public lands, and private lands under conservation easement.

Trustees Daniel Shaw, Chair

Jerry Murdock

Sam Brown

Robert Musser

Neal Dempsey

Walter Obermeyer, Treasurer

Andy Docken

Ben Pritzker

Ryan Elston, Vice Chair

Barbara Rosenberg

Mark Hamilton

Sheri Sanzone

Reenie Kinney

Ashley Schiff Ramos

Leslie Lamont

Rachel Sherman, Secretary

Kim Master

Maile Spung, Officer

Diane Moore

Colter Van Domelen

Gina Murdock

Page 1


Table of Contents About ACES Letter from the CEO Land Stewards First, Farmers Second Green Time vs. Screen Time Living a Year at the Catto Center at Toklat Natural Solutions Events Financials 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign Membership Legacy Planning Our Donors Administrative Staff & Partners Where We Work

Page 2 – ACES Annual Report 2020

01 04 06 09 12 15 18 20 21 22 23 23 26 27


Generations of ACES alumni gather together at the Catto Center at Toklat for a special celebration in honor of ACES’ 50th anniversary in September 2019.

Page 3


The Time the Earth Stood Still LETTER

FROM THE

CEO

The COVID–19 pandemic has allowed our planet to take a short

world is to reclaim the planet we have trashed given the chance.

breath – while we hold ours. It has taught us something about the

We have seen how clear the waters of Venice can become in the

power of nature and the fragility of our lives.

absence of motorboats, how clean the skies from New Delhi to New

Trying to conduct even the most perfunctory daily functions – coordinating work and family responsibilities, maintaining mental and physical fitness, and even getting food on the table – without coming

York can become in the absence of cars, and how audible the songs of birds are in the absence of commercial activity. Fourth, COVID–19 taught us that in this bizarre and newfound battle

within six feet of another human – is not easy. But these will only be

between politics and science, science wins. Just as our leaders had to

temporary.

learn that the epidemiological science around COVID–19 was real, scary,

While the pandemic will have many lasting impacts on all of us, I have four hopeful observations. First, the unwavering altruism and community spirit shown by

and accurate, our leaders will also learn the same applies to climate science. Science, not politics, must direct our policies, whether it be

residents of the Roaring Fork Valley. Local philanthropists, including

COVID–19 response or climate change mitigation. We are learning the

ACES donors, raised $3.5 million in only a few days for the 2020 Rescue

hard way that we must trust environmental scientists as we do doctors

Fund. Aspen, Pitkin County, and Snowmass governments dedicated

and professionals who have decades of education and work experience

$7 million to help locals through financial uncertainty.

in their fields. Science must be the foundation of our health and

Neighbors helping neighbors. Teachers helping students. Our tireless medical workers giving everything they have. Financial

environmental policies. Anything less is irrational or demagogic. At ACES, we know we must live in harmony with natural systems in

assistance. Food access. Human grit! These humanitarian efforts

order to not only survive, but also prosper since “our economy is the

represent Aspen and our valley–wide communities at their best,

wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.” ACES’ job is to teach

revealing our true character.

people about that connection.

Second, while this outbreak is unlikely to lead to long term change

As you’ll see in this report, ACES has had one of its most mission–

in land use, air and water pollution, and carbon emissions (e.g. carbon

driven years ever. We celebrated our 50th anniversary and are now

emissions dropped only 1.3% during the 2009 financial crisis; scientists

80% toward completion of our $12.5 million capital campaign. With

today predict a carbon reduction due to this pandemic in 2020 of 8%),

these funds, we will be providing new environmental science education

I witnessed something that suggests we could someday solve the

at schools in Rifle, New Castle, Glenwood Springs, and more. These

climate crisis.

classes may contain a future president or an environmental visionary!

Solving it will require literally every government on earth and all

We will be expanding our outdoor field science programs to more

their citizens to unite on dramatic carbon reduction efforts and vast

underserved communities. We will renovate the Catto Center at Toklat

upscaling of renewable energy. This has always seemed impossible.

to become a world class wilderness retreat center, where we will

But this pandemic has shown us something remarkable about our

change minds by changing hearts. We are restoring aquatic habitat

will to survive that we may have never seen in human history.

at Hallam Lake and reintroducing native cutthroat trout. In addition

It suggests that, if and when we set our minds to something, we can

to growing even more local, sustainable food, we will create online

unite as global citizens of our one and only planet around a cause that

regenerative agriculture education that will span the globe. And,

threatens all life as we know it. We can do it. We will do it!

we will improve upon our physical facilities that, like our organization,

Third, while the coronavirus will not reverse the ravages of climate change, it is allowing us to see with our own eyes how quick the natural

Page 4 – ACES Annual Report 2020

are 50 years old.


Science, not politics, must direct our policies, whether it be COVID–19 response or climate change mitigation.

During this time of change, like all species, we are adapting. Our staff is resilient. Our morale is high. The work to protect our natural world is ongoing because you can’t “cancel nature.” The human race cannot stay cooped up indoors forever - but we can use this moment to rethink our relationship to nature. We can ponder what it truly means to share the planet. We can resolve to change the way we live. There is no “social distance” required between humans and the natural world. It is the one place we don’t have to hold our breath.

Chris Lane Chief Executive Officer

Page 5


Land Stewards First, Farmers Second H O W R E G E N E R AT I V E A G R I C U LT U R E

CAN

SAVE THE

PLANET

Jason Smith, Rock Bottom Ranch Director

It’s 5 am, and I can’t sleep. Coronavirus. Climate change. Newborn lamb #118 and her challenging start to life. Our unsustainable industrial agriculture system. These are the thoughts that run through my mind before I’ve even

Early on in my farming career, I realized that livestock services were more valuable than their products. Ruminants like cattle and sheep, for instance, are our lawnmowers. When frequently rotated through different pastures, ruminants eat the grass and fertilize the soil:

opened my eyes. But mostly, my head is filled with thoughts of my two

which produces more grass,

daughters, Addie and Ella, and what their future will look like. At Rock

which pulls carbon from the atmosphere,

Bottom Ranch, the agriculture team’s work explores food systems as

which makes the soil healthier,

part of our organization’s larger environmental dialogue and, hopefully,

which grows more grass, and so on.

teaches our visitors and students to rethink the role of agriculture in solving environmental challenges. A few years ago, Alyssa Barsanti, Agriculture Manager, coined the

The whole cycle is a self–sustaining process that works in harmony with natural systems rather than attempting to control them. Simply put, the potential of a well–managed parcel of land to sequester carbon,

phrase “Land Stewards First, Farmers Second.” For us, this means an

maintain ecological health, and grow healthy food outweighs the

approach to land management in which we let the land tell us the next

emissions from livestock (when raised in a regenerative manner), so in

steps. We don’t consider ourselves chicken farmers or cattle farmers or

the end we have a net negative carbon result.

sheep farmers; we’re land stewards.

Page 6 – ACES Annual Report 2020


Chickens provide another essential service at the ranch. Our laying hens follow the ruminants in this rotation; chickens’ natural inclination to scratch the ground while looking for bugs, larvae, and seeds distributes manure left by our ruminants, while also providing them mini–protein meals. Not only does this help to fertilize the pasture, but also cleans and sanitizes the area. While delicious, we consider our farm–fresh eggs – a $30k annual income–generating byproduct – secondary to chickens’ valuable ecosystem services. When raised in a regenerative manner, both livestock and vegetables have the potential to actually reverse carbon emissions by sequestering carbon from the atmosphere into the soil. Regenerative vegetable practices include reduced or no tillage, diverse cover crops, in–farm fertility, no pesticides or synthetic

We don’t consider ourselves chicken farmers or cattle farmers or sheep farmers; we’re land stewards.

fertilizers, and multiple crop rotations. In 2019, we made a drastic overhaul to our vegetable production system by switching to a reduced and no–till system. By narrowing aisles and decreasing bed size, our cultivated area shrunk by 20%, yet yields increased compared to 2018. The secret to carbon sequestration is perennial polycultures focused around grass. A side benefit to managing with regenerative “tools” is that they can provide meat, milk, and fiber as byproducts of their work – something tractors and hay baling equipment cannot do. When we’re able to harness the science behind the natural systems of regenerative agriculture, my fears for my two daughters’ futures subside and my hope grows. With any luck, their food over the next century will not deplete the soil, pollute rivers, or heat up our planet. And I will sleep better. Sometimes past 5 am.

POULTRY SANITIZE & DISTRIBUTE

Our Regenerative Agriculture Work At Rock Bottom Ranch, ACES models regenerative agriculture

RUMINANTS EAT GRASS

production systems that prioritize land stewardship, ecosystem health, carbon sequestration, and animal welfare. Our vegetable and livestock productions systems are based on natural cycles and designed to mimic nature. ACES is leading the charge on developing models for replicable, regenerative agriculture where food production can actually restore soil biodiversity and positively affect our climate. Our systems are designed to maximize land productivity, while constantly taking steps to improve soil health. When managed in a

CARBON IN SOIL IMPROVES HEALTH

GRASS SEQUESTERS CARBON

holistic manner, livestock are critical to the process of nutrient–cycling and carbon sequestration. We raise a diverse array of livestock including:

growing season at our 6,400 ft. elevation, we utilize energy–efficient

sheep, cattle, laying hens, broilers, and rabbits.

season extension structures including a seed propagation house and

We also grow over 50 varieties of vegetables with intensive, efficient,

three hoophouses. All of our houses are passively heated and allow

and regenerative practices. Our production uses a low–till approach

us to produce year–round, without the need for any fossil fuels or

to minimize soil disturbance and preserve soil structure. To extend the

supplemental heat.

Page 7


Page 8 – ACES Annual Report 2020


Green Time vs. Screen Time WHY ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION During her first summer as an ACES Educator, Phebe Meyers,

MATTERS There’s plenty of research showing that nature is an enriching

who’s now ACES’ Community Programs Senior Manager, was leading

environment. A 2014 UCLA study found that after just five days of

a group of 7– and 8–year–olds around Hallam Lake when one of them

face–to–face interaction at a nature camp without any screen time,

pointed out a plant and asked what it was. Phebe didn’t know, but

preteens were more able to read human emotions, which is important

before she could search her field guide, another student piped up with

in developing social skills. British researchers found that people who

the correct answer.

spend time in natural places are more likely to be conscientious about

Years later, a group of 10– to 14–year–old girls came back from Women of the Wild, an all–girls, weeklong backpacking trip. While they

the environment, and adopt more green practices. Bestselling author Richard Louv compiled a body of research for his

all tackled challenges like developing their wilderness skills, they had

book, Last Child in the Woods, which makes the case that connecting

also formed a support system, with even slightly more experienced girls

kids with nature is essential for healthy physical and emotional

finding themselves in leadership roles, and inspiring and empowering

development. Louv coined the term “nature–deficit disorder,” which

each other.

links the lack of vitamin N (nature) to myriad childhood development

Most of us know intuitively that spending time in the outdoors is better for kids than staring at screens all day. There’s plenty of science

issues, including increasing obesity, depression, and attention disorders. Recent research also shows how screen time can negatively impact

to back that up. But what’s less intuitive – and less studied – is the

green time. A 2018 study found that as students spend more time on

power of human relationships in outdoor settings.

screens, their connection to nature decreases. That’s partially because

“If kids are engaging together with the natural world around them and sharing each other’s curiosities, that’s a unique experience that hopefully will inspire them,” says Phebe. “Our educators provide the

of the addictive nature of screens, which inhibits youth from connecting with nature, according to Canadian researchers. And as today’s kids spend more and more time on screens – a 2019

support and space for this learning to happen, but the kids interacting

report from Common Sense Media found that teens average around

with each other is just as important.”

seven and a half hours of screen time per day while tweens (ages

Neuroscience tells us that the human brain rapidly develops for the

8 to 12) consume a little under five hours – there are other negative

first several years of life, when billions of neural connections are made.

consequences. Teens with high screen use are over twice as likely to

Kids with early childhood education are much more likely to graduate

be diagnosed with depression and anxiety, while even moderate use of

high school and college, and enriching environments with engaging

screens is shown to lower children’s psychological well–being. It goes

relationships result in better emotional, cognitive, and executive

without saying that spending a lot of time on screens is also detrimental

function.

to physical health and social engagement.

ACES environmental education programs get kids outside for 28,000 hours annually. Not only does this provide a unique outdoor “classroom” for learning, but also has been linked to healthy physical and emotional development.

Page 9


The Roaring Fork Valley offers abundant opportunities for kids to get outdoors and away from screens – and ACES is no exception. Our summer and school–year educational programs are rooted in science but driven by broader principles: promoting fun in the outdoors, letting curiosity drive learning, and shaping the next generation of environmental stewards. “By knowing what’s around you, you have more of a connection to it

School–year programs, which are more standards–based, focus on experiential learning of earth and life sciences. There’s both classroom learning and outdoor time, including field trips for each grade level. ACES education programs offer brand new experiences for some kids, whose time outside may be otherwise limited to playgrounds and backyards. With those experiences comes new perspectives: Once

and want to steward it,” says ACES Education Director, Andrea Aust. “Our

kids learn about plants or animals, they might be more aware of them

goal is to educate for environmental responsibility.”

wherever they go. And they just might feel comfortable and confident

During ACES summer programs, kids learn to be outside in all conditions. If it rains, educators set up tarps or find trees to shelter under. Kids are allowed – and encouraged – to get dirty; on overnight

to explore their own backyards – turning over rocks to see what’s under them, identifying squirrel and deer tracks, or building forts in the woods. Above all, it’s a shared experience. Provided with the level

programs they have the option to sleep under the stars. The theme–

playing field of the great outdoors, kids deal with interpersonal

based programming is flexible and encourages self–discovery, allowing

conflicts, share knowledge, and learn how to help each other.

a group to veer off the day’s hiking plan if they want to delve deeper into

Connecting with each other and to nature drives home the idea that

the Hallam Lake ecosystem, for example.

we’re all in this together.

At Rock Bottom Ranch, ACES education programs explore the role of food systems and help students better understand the connection between a healthy ecological system and healthy food.

By knowing what’s around you, you have more of a connection to it and want to steward it.

Page 10 – ACES Annual Report 2020


Our Ecological Literacy Work ACES students explore the

ACES Ed inspires students to ask questions about the natural world and connects them with the environment through robust regional

pond at Hallam Lake during a summer program.

partnerships. Every student at our three partner schools – Aspen Elementary, Basalt Elementary and Crystal River Elementary – visits their ACES Ed classroom weekly and receives seasonal field science programs. ACES Ed also provides weekly in–classroom environmental science programs in western Garfield County, now in its second year, as part of Garfield County Outdoors, a grant–funded initiative made possible by Great Outdoors Colorado. ACES recently completed construction on the Children’s Garden at Rock Bottom Ranch and developed new curricula to further integrate agriculture education into our in–classroom and field programs. ACES is currently revising our curriculum to align with the Next Generation Science Standards and the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards in science, providing crucial science instruction to students and aiding schools in implementing these standards. By offering standards–aligned in–classroom instruction paired with field experiences, we believe that the unique structure of ACES Ed can serve as a model for environmental education throughout the state and nation. For Roaring Fork Valley high school students, ACES also leads Tomorrow’s Voices each semester: a college–level course with a focus on social justice and environmental stewardship. Encouraged to listen to each other, speak their minds, and consider their broader civic roles, Tomorrow’s Voices students develop critical thinking skills and the agency to effect positive change. ACES’ community programs combine environmental science education with outdoor exploration, transforming the local environment into a community classroom. Community programs provide engaging opportunities for participants ranging from pre–K through adults. Participants form lasting friendships as they share immersive and informative experiences in nature, while developing a sense of place, curiosity about their surroundings, and passion for lifelong learning.

The Numbers 1,600 students received weekly environmental education in the classroom

5,200 student experiences in field science programs 40 students participated in Tomorrow’s Voices in 2019 28,000 hours that kids spent outside $15,000 dollars offered in scholarships 18 field sites 35+ Summer Educator–in–Training Volunteers 140+ species of birds identified during ACES’ birding classes

Page 11


Living a Year at the Catto Center at Toklat

REFLECTIONS

FROM AN ACES

ACES staff share a meal with visiting environmental experts outside of the Catto Center at Toklat.

NATURALIST

Olivia Niosi, ACES Naturalist

Was this going to be something like Leopold’s Shack, Thoreau’s Walden Pond cabin, or the Murie Ranch? New to town, I wasn’t sure. But the moment I arrived at the Catto Center at Toklat I knew I had made the right choice. The beauty. The history. The plea to help protect the place.

My first few weeks at Toklat were spent learning how to get warm water in the shower (derived from the magic of the pilot-lighted stoves), listening to Trevor’s stories of the place, and somehow answering the ooohs and ahhs from guests who walked in the door. Every week, I met someone who was a respected artist, ecologist,

I shyly opened the doors through a leather shop that stung my nose

philosopher, or outdoors person. I lived with Nika, an avid trail runner

and into a cold, large living room. I was greeted by a hurried Trevor, the

and thru–hiker. I attended a drum–making workshop Trevor hosted in

caretaker, who showed me my room, told me to get unpacked, then

memory of his late mentor. I sat around a fire with people who helped

we’d get to work. We needed to carry some wood and pipes up to the

start ACES and had deep roots with both Toklat and Aspen. I met Eddie

intake of Devaney Creek – the source of both our water and electricity.

Running Wolf, a talented Native American wood carver. Stuart and

Trevor explained that the big snow year’s peak water was approaching,

Isabel Mace mentored so many people in the art and conservation

possibly the next day, and might overwhelm our micro–hydroelectric

world in their family home, Toklat, and here I was decades later hearing

generation system. Not even five minutes up I felt my heart racing, my

their voices, their stories. Meeting these inspiring people made me

lungs burning, and my forehead sweating. I realized maybe I wasn’t

realize that by living here, I was joining their unique community that

invincible to this whole altitude thing. We fixed the flow gate, walked

celebrates a connection to nature through many forms. I also shared

back down, and shared some beers around the pond. This was going to

a love for this place and grew tremendously over the summer. I was

be an alright place.

gaining so–called “Stuartship” for the Castle Creek Valley.

Page 12 – ACES Annual Report 2020


I didn’t know what I was going to do, become a poet or author?

Powder days at the ski resorts were few and far between. The longer we

Thru–hiker? Summit all the peaks? Continue teaching others about

stayed up here, the farther town got. We really were in our own world.

the natural world? How am I going to leave my mark on Toklat like

This was going to be a secluded place.

it has on me? This was going to be a powerful place.

As quickly as winter came, it went. The coronavirus came to

When fall off–season came, I found myself alone at Toklat. I no

town, the mountains closed, and our nature tours were cancelled.

longer had the people who made it special; it was just me, the wood,

It was abrupt, confusing, and hard to comprehend. But Toklat had

and the occasional mouse. It was an odd time and a beautiful time.

prepared us, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. We were

I saw my first real fall ever. Watching all the aspens turn from green

already professionals at entertaining ourselves without the luxuries

to strong gold in just a few days reminded me of my time here passing

of TV or internet. We already knew what it felt like to not go to town

quickly. I hiked to the top of Ashcroft Mountain and was so struck

for weeks. So there we were, making puzzles, going through the VHS

by my new view of the valley that I didn’t even think to take a single

collection, writing, reading together in the geranium room, going out to

picture. This was going to be a changing place.

cross–country ski, snowshoeing, cooking, painting, drawing, organizing

Winter came quickly. Toklat got even colder, the valley turned white, and suddenly I had four roommates again. The holidays

the library, maintaining trails, and shoveling lots and lots of snow. I feel rooted here. I feel the potential for me to continue

consisted of us naturalists taking turns giving nature tours and hosting

growing. To become what, I don’t know. But I realize that I’ve joined

people at Toklat. We talked to people for hours on end, retelling the

this Toklat community just as I am – someone trying to connect others

Mace story, and never tiring of sharing the valley. Our alarm clocks

to nature through shared experiences, continuing my own small steps

turned to coyotes howling each morning. We watched moose recreate

toward finding ways to protect this planet, and growing my deepest

in the willows just outside the door. Everyday we saw new tracks

passions for ecology and storytelling. This is going to be a hard

and could tell a new story as to the nightly happenings of the valley.

place to leave.

I was gaining so–called “Stuartship” for the Castle Creek Valley.

ACES’ Catto Center at Toklat provides a unique “window into wildness,” helping visitors to experience a connection to the natural world and to understand the rich ecological diversity of the upper Castle Creek Valley.

Page 13


The Catto Center at Toklat The Catto Center at Toklat, an iconic wilderness retreat center, embodies ACES’ environmental ethic and spirit of stewardship. Since the late 1940s, the Catto Center at Toklat has been a place of quiet refuge where visitors can engage in thoughtful inquiry and reconnect to the natural world. Originally built by the Mace family, the Catto Center at Toklat continues to act as a gathering place for community members and visitors alike, offering a space where people can come together to reflect, rejuvenate, and feel inspired by the local environment. Visitors find their way to the Catto Center at Toklat for a variety of reasons, whether as part of a professional retreat, workshop, community potluck, field science class, to visit with one of our seasonal artists in residence, or simply to take in the stunning natural beauty of the Castle Creek Valley. But no matter how or why they arrive, visitors leave this special place with a renewed sense of connectedness to the land and appreciation for the value of environmental stewardship.

Our Naturalist Program Work

The Numbers

spend the next two and a half months guiding hikes and providing educational outreach for both

440 Naturalists trained by ACES since 1987 3,849 tour participants at the Maroon Bells/

visitors and residents at iconic sites throughout the Aspen area.

Snowmass/Aspen Mountain in summer 2019

Each June, ACES trains 16 new Summer Naturalists – enthusiastic college graduates who

Through training, individual research, and guiding, Naturalists develop a deep knowledge of local ecology, environmental issues, human history, and the physical landscape. Over the course of the summer, Naturalists learn to use storytelling to explain a range of subjects, inspiring a connection to the Aspen area for over 42,500 locals and visitors in 2019. While at ACES, Naturalists often develop greater understanding and passion for the subjects they are most interested in as they plot their own career paths. For more than 30 years, this ever–growing group of ACES alumni has gone out into the world effecting change. As scientists, teachers, land managers, policy makers, non–profit administrators, and sustainability experts, Naturalists further ACES mission when they bring their knowledge, communication skills, and appreciation of the natural world to new communities.

An ACES Naturalist leads a tour along the edge of Maroon Lake, sharing information about natural history, local ecology, and more.

Page 14 – ACES Annual Report 2020


The 2016 Hunter–Smuggler prescribed burn triggered new growth in aspen and gambel oak, helping to restore ecosystem health by improving wildlife habitat and creating age and species diversity.

Natural Solutions PROTECTING OUR FORESTS TAKES ON A NEW MEANING IN THE ERA OF CLIMATE CHANGE In the quest to prevent warming

Most people know that trees are good at

reforestation require large amounts of

from reaching two degrees Celsius above

taking in carbon, but not all forest solutions are

land not currently managed as forests, and

pre–industrial levels, the emphasis has largely

created equal. Planting trees in areas where

planted forests do not achieve the critical

been on reducing man–made emissions. But

none were before (afforestation) and restoring

biodiversity found in natural, intact forests.

in recent years, natural solutions – Mother

cut down or degraded forests (reforestation)

Nature’s ways of sequestering atmospheric

are bandwagons even the Trump administration

carbon – have gotten increasing attention

has embraced – when he pledged the US to

from scientists and other climate advocates.

the World Economic Forum’s One Trillion Trees

forests pulling the most carbon from the

initiative earlier this year.

atmosphere are old, intact forests, and

Natural solutions to climate change include restoring wetlands and mangroves,

But forests grow very slowly – plant a

The most important thing we can do is to protect the forests that we have. This idea of proforestation – that

that keeping those forests intact offers the

improving soil quality, and a gamut of

tree now and it could be decades before it

most immediate benefit for the climate – is

strategies around forests.

matures – and we need to draw down carbon

supported by scientists broadly and forest

immediately. Other hurdles: Afforestation and

managers locally.

Page 15


The most important thing we can do is to protect the forests we have.

In a June 2019 paper published in the

Preserving forests in the Roaring Fork

journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change,

Valley watershed has been a longtime goal

Tufts University professor William Moomaw

of many local government agencies and

and his co–authors write: “Proforestation

nonprofit organizations, but only in recent

provides the most effective solution to

years has climate become a component of the

dual global crises – climate change and

partners’ objectives.

biodiversity loss. It is the only practical,

Launched in 2014, the Hunter–Smuggler

rapid, economical, and effective means for

Plan is a 20–year effort to improve forest

atmospheric carbon dioxide removal among

health and habitat (and recreational

the multiple options that have been proposed

opportunities) on some 4,700 acres adjacent

because it removes more atmospheric carbon

to Aspen, on Smuggler Mountain, and in the

dioxide in the immediate future and continues

Hunter Creek Valley. Proposed by ACES, the

to sequester it long–term.”

plan’s partners include the City of Aspen,

It’s a solution that the Roaring Fork Valley,

Pitkin County Open Space, and the US Forest

surrounded by thousands of acres of public

Service. Projects have included work on a

land that hold swaths of intact forests, is

lodgepole pine forest to repair damage from

particularly suited to focus on. According to

and prevent future pine beetle infestations,

ACES’ 2014 State of the Forest Report, local

manually thinning out old gambel oak stands

forests absorb on average more than 280,000

to encourage new growth, and a prescribed

tons of carbon per year.

fire in spring 2016.

On our timescale, we want to preserve the

The fire, which treated about 900 acres of

carbon that’s on the landscape right now, and

gambel oak and aspen forest, stimulated new

there’s value in that here in the Aspen area.

plant growth, produced a mosaic vegetation

Page 16 – ACES Annual Report 2020

Shyla Raghav, Vice President of Climate Change at Conservation International, speaks to a sold–out crowd in Aspen on “Reimagining Climate Change: How We Can Turn Our Despair Into Hope” as part of ACES’ Jessica Catto Dialogues speaker series.


Gary Tennenbaum, Director of Pitkin

pattern for diverse habitat, returned needed

Ragav, who helped negotiate the Paris

nutrients to the soil, and cleared out

County Open Space, notes that while it’s not

Climate Accord and has been working on

hazardous fuels. A scientist monitoring results

possible to restore the land completely to

climate change mitigation and adaptation for

of the fire found that burned aspen tree plots

what it was before human habitation – climate

over a decade, offered this message of hope

produced nearly 37 times more suckers, or

change has already depleted natural water

in February when she spoke as part of ACES’

shoots, than unburned plots.

supplies to some extent, for example – the

Jessica Catto Dialogue Lecture Series.

Four years later in the burn area, it’s obvious where the burn was because there’s

Open Space program is adapting to include a climate focus. “When I started 17 years ago, the whole

a ton of new growth there. It’s more difficult

“One of the most encouraging things about climate change is we have these solutions at our disposal – we know what they are,” she

to see the carbon benefits – which come

thing was about habitat and wildlife, but

from preventive measures such as staving off

we’ve since realized that all these things are

beetle outbreaks and large wildfires.

connected to climate,” he says. “Now, our

emissions come from poor agricultural

told the Aspen audience. As much as one–quarter of global

world is finding a metric to address climate

practices and deforestation, Ragav said – so

for the White River National Forest, and his

change through open space management

changing those bad habits can help turn

team have conducted prescribed fires with

while protecting scenery and wildlife.”

things around.

Jim Genung, the zone fuels specialist

While results are encouraging on a local

similar results in many parts of the White

In fact, restoring native cover could

River National Forest, including around Basalt

level, it’s important to keep in mind that

account for one–third or more of the solution:

Mountain, Avalanche Creek in the Crystal River

natural solutions – even on a global scale –

reducing emissions to zero by 2050. Ragav

Valley, up Cattle Creek, and outside of Rifle

won’t resolve climate change on their own. To

also emphasized that these solutions can and

and Eagle. Big game returned to the hillsides

truly address climate change, we must take

need to start on a local level, which means

of the Basalt Mountain prescribed fires, he

a holistic approach, which includes dramatic

everyone can get involved in some way in

notes.

reductions in fossil fuel and other greenhouse

their own backyard.

Pitkin County Open Space is another partner

gas emissions paired with natural solutions. But Shyla Ragav, Vice President of Climate

in natural habitat planning. A 2015 prescribed fire

In a nutshell, says Ragav, “When we invest in nature, we’re not only investing in climate

on Filoha Meadows, an Open Space property

Change for Conservation International, is

change solutions. We’re investing in our

near Redstone, ushered in plenty of regrowth

optimistic about the potential of natural

resilience. We’re investing in a more stable

among the gambel oak and aspen that is prime

solutions because they haven’t been

and secure future for humanity.”

elk and bighorn sheep habitat.

considered that seriously until recently.

Our Forest & Climate Work ACES’ Forest & Climate Program was founded to better

In addition, ACES guided adults and children into the Lake Christine

understand and address the alarming trends we see in Colorado’s

burn area following the 2018 wildfire to see how local forest ecosystems

forests. Our work includes restoration, education, research, and

respond to that type of disturbance. Through these community

monitoring. On–the–ground restoration projects are located in the

education programs, ACES provided a window into the diversity created

Hunter–Smuggler area, education and monitoring utilize Colorado’s

by wildfire and the amazing capacity for ecosystems to recover. ACES’

Forest Health Index (foresthealthindex.org), and ACES conducts research

Forest & Climate Program also continues to produce educational

with the help of our Forest Forecast Model (forestforecasts.org).

material to help the local community connect with our forests. This year,

In 2019, ACES completed the first–ever species inventory or “Bioblitz” of the Hallam Lake nature preserve. Over a three day period, scientists

ACES published our first local tree guide, as well as the sixth annual State of the Forest Report for the Roaring Fork watershed.

from the Colorado Natural Heritage Program documented over 300 species, creating a valuable set of baseline data. Moving forward, this information will help ACES’ staff to become better stewards and educators of the nature preserve.

The Numbers 38 individual Forest Health Indices for watersheds across Colorado 70 people guided through the Lake Christine burn area 144 species of plants at Hallam Lake 300 species documented in 2019 Hallam Lake Bioblitz

Page 17


Events Our events do more than bring our community together; they are a celebration of those who take action and effect positive change in the world.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival This annual film festival fundraiser showcases inspiring films in support of ACES’ Tomorrow’s Voices program while celebrating environmental filmmakers, pioneers, and activists.

Fall Colors Potluck Each September, ACES’ annual membership potluck at the Catto Center at Toklat invites guests to experience the peak of fall colors in the Castle Creek Valley.

Stars Above Aspen Last year, ACES partnered with Aspen Skiing Company to host a celebration of astronomy for over 1,000 guests on the top of Aspen Mountain.

Raptor Fair Last July, this educational community event featured personal interactions with over a dozen raptors, including a Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Red–tailed Hawk, and Snowy Owl for over 400 guests.

Farm to Table Dinners During last summer’s growing season, ACES celebrated regenerative agriculture at Rock Bottom Ranch with a series of elegant, locally–sourced meals.

Harvest Party Last October, ACES welcomed 1,400 guests to Rock Bottom Ranch to honor the harvest season with pumpkin–carving, apple– pressing, live music, a pie baking contest and more.

Picnic on the Preserve ACES kicked off the summer season last June with our annual celebration of ACES membership at this picnic–style dinner at Hallam Lake featuring a plant–rich meal from Rock Bottom Ranch.

Evening on the Lake Last year, ACES celebrated our 50th anniversary with a benefit featuring a locally– sourced meal from Rock Bottom Ranch to support our environmental science education programs at the Hallam Lake nature preserve.

Page 18 – ACES Annual Report 2020

Earth Day ACES celebrates Earth Day every day, but especially on April 22nd by bringing the community together and inspiring action to protect our Earth that sustains us all.


50th Anniversary Events Last year, as we celebrated ACES’ 50th Anniversary, we partnered with other landmark Aspen nonprofits to celebrate mind, body, spirit – and the natural world.

Paul Hawken Public Lecture ACES and the Aspen Institute partnered to bring environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author Paul Hawken to discuss Project Drawdown – a list of comprehensive solutions to climate change – to a sold–out audience at Paepcke Auditorium.

Music Inspired by Nature ACES and Aspen Music Festival and School partnered to bring our community “Music Inspired by Nature,” featuring Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring as well as pieces from Rachmaninoff and Anna Thorvaldsdottir.

Art for ACES The Aspen Chapel and ACES both celebrated our 50th anniversaries in 2019. In honor of this milestone, the Aspen Chapel Art Gallery sponsored a special show with ten local artists who created works inspired by the beauty of the natural world.

Speaker Series ACES Speaker Series feature scientists, adventurers, and other experts – giving them a platform to share their passions while inspiring, informing, and empowering attendees. Many of our lectures are available to stream at aspennature.org. Naturalist Nights This year, scientists shared engaging presentations about local ecology, natural history, environmental issues, and more, including topics like “Too Hot To Trot: Pika Ecology in a Time of Global Change” and “Border Wall Impacts on Wildlife, Wilderness, and Communities: A View from Both Sides.”

Potbelly Perspectives This year, we heard stories of endurance, community building, and wild experiences from local adventurers, including Jordan Curet’s “Discovering the Yukon Wilderness by Paddleboard” and Nika Meyers’ story of “Setting the Unsupported Female Fastest Known Time on Vermont’s Long Trail.”

Jessica Catto Dialogues This year, ACES hosted Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. from the Hip Hop Caucus and Shyla Raghav from Conservation International for thought–provoking and engaging free public lectures. These two leaders inspired us to view environmental justice and climate solutions through new lenses, while providing ideas for ways to take action. Wild Perspectives ACES’ inaugural year of Wild Perspectives in Snowmass provided an opportunity for the community to gather and listen to experts share stories on everything from the history of skiing in Snowmass, to forest health, to birding, to activism.

Page 19


Financials Total revenue for the 2018/19 fiscal year totaled over $9m, of

Revenue & Other Support

2019

2018

2017

which approximately $4 million was operating income and $5 million

Contributions

6,816,383

1,786,257

1,017,546

was from donations and pledges to the 50th Anniversary Capital

Endowment

455,000

440,000

430,000

Campaign. The increase in operating income from the previous year

Membership Income

216,854

212,459

183,202

Admission & Tuition

765,079

667,935

678,131

Other Income

730,627

424,615

356,719

Investment Income

61,822

11,100

8,395

Total Revenue

9,045,765

3,542,366

2,673,993

in excess of expenses for ACES’ operating budget totaled over

Expenses

2019

2018

2017

$1 million for the fiscal year.

Educational Expense

1,958,548

1,973,889

1,803,376

Management & General Expenses

483,90

257,384

321,668

Fundraising Expenses

516,116

367,345

243,767

Total Expenses

2,958,565

2,598,618

2,368,811

Excess of Revenue over Expenses

6,087,200

943,748

305,182

Assets

2019

2018

2017

Cash & Cash Equivalents

5,238,565

5,227,868

4,303,697

Pledges Receivable (net)

4,101,654

777,642

995,534

Inventory

22,686

22,686

22,390

Investments

3,818,392

609,986

603,331

Land, Building & Equipment (net)

7,313,898

7,680,004

7,459,754

Total Assets

20,495,195

14,318,186

13,384,706

Liabilities

2019

2018

2017

Accrued Expenses

218,548

104,990

92,031

Note Payable

330,309

354,058

377,285

Total Liabilities

548,857

459,048

469,316

Net Assets

2019

2018

2017

Undesignated

5,041,478

735,904

7,081,895

Invested in Land, Buildings,

6,983,589

7,325,946

1,883,495

With Donor Restrictions

7,921,271

5,797,288

3,950,000

Total Net Assets

19,946,338

13,859,138

12,915,390

Total Liabilities & Net Assets

20,495,195

14,318,186

13,384,706

was from greater participation in our community programs such as our kids camps, Naturalist programs, and agriculture program and from the Evening on the Lake fundraiser that celebrated ACES’ 50th anniversary. With slightly less than $3 million in total expenses, revenue

Revenue & Other Support Contributions Endowment Membership Income

Admission & Tuition Other Income Investment Income

Without Donor Restrictions

Equipment (net)

The financial statements of ACES were audited by Reese Henry & Company, Inc. A copy of the complete Independent Auditor’s Report and 990 are available on the

Expenses Educational Expense Management & General Expenses Fundraising Expenses

Page 20 – ACES Annual Report 2020

ACES website.


50th Anniversary Capital Campaign Last year, in honor of ACES’ 50th anniversary, the Board of Trustees and ACES’ CEO Chris Lane launched a $12.5 million capital campaign. Today, over 80% of the goal has been reached thanks to inspired leadership giving during the “quiet phase.” The community phase will unfold over the next year to ensure that ACES’ facilities are safe and up-to-date, that vital educational programs reach as many people as possible, and that our beloved sites are protected for the enjoyment of all. As we look to the future, we recognize that our work has just begun. Through an in-depth analysis of what we want to accomplish in the next 50 years, ACES’ staff and board have identified three priority areas of focus:

Community Building Connecting People to Nature at the Catto Center at Toklat Helping influencers of all ages understand humanity’s unique connection to the natural world and its life–supporting and economy– sustaining systems is one of the most direct ways to protect the global environment. ACES’ wilderness retreat center, the Catto Center at Toklat is where we will provide that connection. Surrounded by wilderness and disconnected from a wired world, a renovated Toklat will feature a restored ecology center, artist– and scientist–in–residence programs, natural and historic heritage library, and a wilderness convening space for citizens, children, community and business leaders, policy–makers, teachers, and nonprofits.

Education Building the Environmental Science Education Movement As a beacon of science–based environmental leadership and education for all ages, our place–based science education will cultivate

Protection and Restoration Leading Collaborative Efforts in Ecosystem Restoration and Land Conservation Through our Climate & Forest Department, ACES will restore natural habitats and ecosystems throughout the region, including ACES sites. We will serve as a model for restoration efforts, ecological health, climate education, and outdoor community classrooms, providing cutting–edge, science–based information to the public. This will include assessing the state of our forests and ecosystem health through on–the– ground restoration work, in–depth science analysis, data sharing, and collaborations with universities, government agencies, and other NGOs.

Specific Initiatives Community Building Renovation of Catto Center at Toklat Hallam Lake Visitor Center Improvements Local Food Production Infrastructure

$6,100,000 $1,425,000 $700,000

Education ACES Educator Housing in Carbondale Increased Environmental Education for Children Sustainable Agriculture in Schools National Farmer Training and Education Program Classroom Technology and Quantitative Metrics Outdoor Environmental Education for Downvalley Schools

$750,000 $600,000 $550,000 $750,000 $100,000 $125,000

Protection and Restoration Hallam Lake Aquatic Habitat Restoration Regional Forest Health Restoration Bioblitz Species Inventory and North Star Preserve

$750,000 $250,000 $125,000

When ACES moves forward with our campaign, we hope you will join us to “Protect the Future”. More details on these initiatives can be found at protectingthefuture.org.

community consciousness and environmental stewardship on a local, state, and national level, advancing our mission beyond our physical boundaries and into underserved communities and schools. We will contribute to a national agenda for increased environmental science education. In an effort to teach the world to rethink farming and food, we are transforming Rock Bottom Ranch into a national center modeling regenerative food systems. ACES will create food–literate citizens by: investing in infrastructure to demonstrate scalable, replicable systems of regenerative agriculture, creating a national farmer training program, and teaching these systems to both adults and students.

Thank you to the donors that have donated to ACES’ 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign “Protecting the Future” as of May 31, 2020. Leadership Campaign Gifts Anonymous (2) Currie and Tom Barron Carolyn Bucksbaum Catto Shaw Foundation Mel and Adam Lewis Gina and Jerry Murdock Penner Family Foundation Margot and Tom Pritzker Capital Campaign Gifts Nancy Sweet Adams Allison Teal and Sam Brown Michael Carricarte Charlie Cole Sally Cole Jan and Neal Dempsey Lissa Ballinger & Andy Docken

Fidel Duke Kim and Mark Hamilton The Woody & Gayle Hunt Family Reenie Kinney and Scott Hicks Leslie Lamont and Lance Luckett Malott Family Foundation Nancy Meinig Diane Moore and Joel Sax Marcie and Robert Musser David Newberger Helen Ward and Wally Obermeyer Ben Pritzker Ashley and Mike Ramos Barbara and Donald Rosenberg Sheri Sanzone and Chris Bendon Lisa and David Schiff The Wade Family The Rob & Melani Walton Foundation Becky and Craig Ward

Page 21


Membership Donor Circles ACES’ Donor Circles members are knowledgeable, powerful voices for the environment, both in the Roaring Fork Valley and across the nation. Donor Circles members donate $1,200 and above each year, and they see their investments making a tangible difference, shaping our future for generations to come. Donor Circles members enjoy special opportunities to meet with visiting environmental leaders and speakers, as well as priority registration to events and programs, and invitations to unique events and receptions. To further recognize their generosity, Donor Circles members are recognized in ACES’ Annual Report and on our donor wall at ACES’ Hallam Lake visitor center.

Donor Profiles

Young Environmental Advocates (YEA) ACES’ Young Environmental Advocates, also known as “YEA” members, represent the next generation of environmental leaders who are ready to take action when and where it’s needed most. For individuals between 18 and 30 years of age, ACES offers a special $25 membership level with the goal of creating opportunities for young people to deepen their connection to nature through events, workshops, and ACES’ annual speaker series. YEA members are invited to socialize and network at ACES’ programs and events, while building a knowledge base that enables them to address today’s environmental issues in an informed and engaged manner.

Hensley & James Peterson

Alex Hager

“We believe ACES is making a profound and vital contribution to our community through creating environmental education, stewardship, and awareness of our natural world for the future of our planet.”

“I’m a firm believer in the power of storytelling as a tool to learn about the world and bring people together. I first got involved with ACES by attending and volunteering at Potbelly Perspectives. It’s one of my favorite winter rituals – getting in a room with a bunch of like–minded folks who share a passion for the natural world and hearing stories from people who have gone on extraordinary journeys.”

James and Hensley Peterson’s long history with ACES is something to celebrate. James joined the ACES Board of Trustees in 1994 and served as Board Chair for five years of his seven–year term. During this time, he was motivated to address ACES’ need for staff housing and began a successful capital campaign to raise funds for housing, including the Treehouse and Straw Bale structures at Hallam Lake and

Alex Hager moved to the Roaring Fork Valley last fall. He joined ACES as

Naturalist housing at Hunter Creek. In 1999, he and the board completed

a YEA member in the winter of 2019 and volunteered at our winter speaker

a campaign for the acquisition of Rock Bottom Ranch. After retiring from

series, Potbelly Perspectives. In his free time, Alex loves hiking, practicing

the ACES board, James served as a founding board member on the

Spanish, and reading poetry. He supports ACES because it brings people

ACES Endowment Fund. Hensley, a talented book editor, joined the ACES Board of Trustees in 2000 and served on the executive committee for six years. During her time on the ACES board, Rock Bottom Ranch was conserved with Aspen Valley Land Trust and the Field Study Center was established. During this time, ACES also acquired a wilderness lodge which would become the Catto Center at Toklat. After retiring from the Board of Trustees, Hensley continued to be an advisor on the Toklat Council. James and Hensley are still actively involved as Donor Circles members.

Page 22 – ACES Annual Report 2020

together to celebrate the awesome power of the natural world. For more information on ACES membership, please visit www.aspennature.org or contact Development Director, Christy Mahon, at 970.925.5756 or cmahon@aspennature.org.


Elizabeth Paepcke Society Leave a Lasting Legacy Many of our supporters choose to leave a gift to ACES in their wills or trusts to protect our environment for future generations. You can, too. When you do, you’ll be playing a key role in sustaining ACES’ mission, expanding its programs, and ensuring its future. To learn more about planned giving through ACES’ Elizabeth Paepcke Society, please contact Development Director, Christy Mahon at 970.925.5756 or cmahon@aspennature.org.

Our Donors Thank you! We would like to express our gratitude to the contributors who generously supported ACES annual fund, summer benefit, and special projects and programs between the dates of November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019. Recognition in the ACES Annual Report is a benefit of the Bighorn Sheep membership level ($300) and above. ACES’ 50th anniversary “Protecting the Future” campaign gifts are listed separately. Chairman’s Circle ($50,000 and above) Anonymous (3) Jan and Neal Dempsey Ann and John Doerr Jessica and John Fullerton Melony and Adam Lewis Melinda and Norman Payson The Walton Family Foundation Restorer’s Circle ($25,000 – $49,999) Anonymous (2) Jackie and John Bucksbaum Fidel Duke Suzanne Farver and Clint VanZee Malott Family Foundation Lisa and Willem Mesdag Margot and Thomas Pritzker Barbara and Donald Rosenberg Elisha and Jeff Zander

Benefactor ($10,000 – $24,999) Anonymous (4) Aspen Community Foundation Lydia and Bill Addy Connie and Buddy Bates Amy Margerum Berg and Gilchrist Berg Jackie and Mike Bezos Ella and Scott Brittingham Sarah Broughton and John Rowland Jess and Bill Budinger Zoë Baird and Bill Budinger Michael Carricarte Ruth Carver City of Aspen Sarah Challinor Lauren and Ryan Elston The Environment Foundation Kristen and Wally Graham Margot and Richard Hampleman Annabelle Bond and Ken Hitchner

Carol and Michael Hundert Soledad and Bob Hurst Shana and Clint Johnstone Allison and Warren Kanders Reenie Kinney and Scott Hicks Rachel and Rick Klausner Margaret and Daniel Loeb Leslie and John McQuown Andrea and Bobby McTamaney Gina and Jerry Murdock David Newberger Helen Ward and Walter Obermeyer Ilona and Chad Oppenheim Christina and Tad O’Donnell Pitkin County Healthy Community Fund RCG Fund Alex and Gunnar Sachs Lisa and David Schiff Singing For Change Tori and Vincent Smith Jill Soffer and Steve Elder Becky and Christopher Steere Brittany and Colter van Domelen Melani and Rob Walton Tillie Walton Innovator ($5,000 – $9,999) Anonymous Argonautica Currie and Thomas Barron The Baum Foundation Karen Brooks Alison Teal and Sam Brown Ruth H. Brown Foundation Carla and John Brozovich Sylvie and Gary Crum Dee and David Dillon Muffy and Andy DiSabatino Laura Donnelley Marcy and Leo Edelstein Judith Fisher Nancy Furlotti Patricia Goudvis Mary and Jim Griffith Julie and Jim Hager Lelia and Bill Harriman Andrew Hauptman and Ellen Bronfman Hauptman Jamie and Bush Helzberg Annie and Jerry Hosier Ellen and Bill Hunt Linda Lay Barbara and Jonathan Lee Jonathan Lewis and Mark Zitelli Toby Devan Lewis Shelly and Tony Malkin Gloria and James Marcus Kim Master and Noah Lieb Laurie and John McBride Anne McNulty Diane Moore and Joel Sax Marcie and Robert Musser The Pathfinder Fund Benjamin Pritzker Betty and Lloyd Schermer The Schuster Family Foundation Rachel and Tony Sherman Michelle Smith Katherine Tomford and David Grossman The Knapp Fund Becky and Craig Ward

Beau Wrigley Sara and Nat Zilkha Advocate ($2,500 – $4,999) Bessie Minor Swift Foundation Clint and Nancy Carlson Isa Catto Shaw and Daniel Shaw Kristina And William Catto Becky and Jeff Berkus Sallie and Thomas Bernard Jamie Brewster McLeod and Glen McLeod Morgan Henschke and Matthew Brown Amy and John Charters Rona and Jeff Citrin Tom and Megan Clark Charlie Cole Ann Dahmer and Kevin Geiser Linda and Ben Davis Marsha and David Dowler Jennifer Dubrul Nicholas and Maja Dubrul Terry Durham Cinda and Donnelley Erdman Shel and Clayton Erikson Joan Fabry and Michael Klein Susan and George Fesus Kristen and Andrew Firman Andi and Jim Gordon Sherri and Dean Goodwin Michelle and Perry Griffith Shirley and Barnett Helzberg Diane and Jack Kennedy Bill and Sheila Lambert Francine and Tag Liebel Fredericka and David Middleton Nancy and Joe Nevin Ann and Bill Nitze Marina and Charles Nitze John Norwood Nancy Paley Hensley and James Peterson Karen Herrling and Daniel Porterfield Bob Purvis Susan and Rod Ralls Lorraine and Mark Schapiro Phyllis and David Scruggs Jill St. John and Robert Wagner Carol and Jim Swiggett Allison and Ben Tiller Lucy Tremols and Galen Bright Steward ($1,000 – $2,499) Anonymous Pamela Alexander Valerie Anderson and Lester Houtz Anne Austin–Clapper Claudia and Richard Balderston Elizabeth Ballinger Holly and Albert Baril Cara and Robert Barnes Linda Bedell Meredith Bell Jessamy and Todd Bennett Barbara and Bruce Berger Susan and Maury Brochstein Chelsea and James Brundige Marla and Lawrence Butler Terri and Tony Caine Cynthia Calvin and Mac McShane

Page 23


Julie Case Katherin and David Chase Lisa Chiles Janet Clark David Corbin Sally Cole April and Eric Cotsen Carol Craig Bobbi Cunningham and Michael Ortiz Heather Dempsey and Massimo Mallamace Laurel Gilbert and Bruce Etkin Muriel and John Eulich Filipa and Joshua Fink Barbara Fretz Ashley Friedman Michael Fuller The Gaglione Family Gary Gerst Molly and William Gilmore Rachael Glassman Dr. Lisa Braun Glazer and Dr. Jeff Glazer Joanna Golden Jan and Ron Greenberg Jody Guralnick and Michael Lipkin Joan Harris Barbara and Gerald Hines Angela and Henry Hite Johnanna and Todd Hoeffner Katie and Rob Holton Tavia and Clark Hunt Kirsten and Kyle Johnstone Sandy and George Kahle Cindy Kahn and Steve Marker Laura and Mike Kaplan Katherine Kendrick Laura and Gary Lauder Kayla and Jim Lehmann Suzanne Leydecker Kathy Lemieux–Rodman and William Rodman Darlene and Victor Liss Peter Looram Sam and Peter Louras Elizabeth and Adam Lowenstein Diana and Carl Luikart Pete McBride Nancy Meinig Lindy and Tom Melberg Sarah Meserve Martha and Adam Metz Lee and Sandy Mulcahy Ann Mullins Lynn Nichols and Jim Gilchrist Diane Oshin and Sidney Mandelbaum Jan and Jim Patterson Suzanne Pfister Ali and David Phillips Emily and Philip Ring Louisa and James Rudolph Kaja Rumney Mary Schmidt–Libby and Russel Libby Carole and Gordon Segal Jennifer and Daniel Shorr Wendy and Mike Sidley Peggy and Ted Smith

Bill Stirling William Stolz Hilary and Dave Stunda Patricia Tisch Cathy and Peter Toren Barbara Trueman Ruth and Bob Wade Alexa Wesner Lara and Marc Whitley Tamara and Frank Woods Alison and Boniface Zaino Heidi Zuckerman Black Bear ($600 – $999) Vanessa and Karl Adam Joanne and David Applebaum Gina Arcic Beekman Gina Berko and David Fleisher Molly Brooks Chevy and Jayni Chase Julie Comins Pickrell and Greg Pickrell Deborah Copito Pat Damoorgian Andy and Brian Davies Christopher Ellis–Ferrara Marianne Farrell and Dierdre Venables Darlynn and Tom Fellman Orly Friedman Karen and John Gray–Krehbiel Nicholas Groos Susan Helm Kristen Henry Jessica Herzstein and Elliot Gerson Constance Hoguet Neel and Richard Neel Kate and Matt Holstein Janis and George Huggins Barbara Reid and David Hyman Andrea and Elle Inhoffer Rusty and John Jaggers Chandra Johnson Christine Karnes Marianne and Richard Kipper Leslie Lamont and Lance Luckett Diana and Chris Lane Fonda Paterson Clarisse Perrette Holly and Karl Peterson Katherine Avilla Peterson Lynn and John Phillips Margaret Sheridan Amanda Simmons Warren Stickney Ben Tomkins Linda and Dennis Vaughn D. J. Watkins Bighorn Sheep ($300 – $599) Sherry and Duane Abbott Stephen and Helene Abelman Lizbeth Adams Rajan Ahuja Julie and Harrison Augur J. G. Augustson Lisa and George Baker Barb and Rick Beckwitt Lucy and Rick Belding Joanna Bennett

Page 24 – ACES Annual Report 2020

Summer and Eric Berg Paula and William Bernstein Andrew and Kathy Berkman Carla and R. Stephen Berry BF Foundation Kristen and Charles Bieler Liz and John Bokram Louise Brainard Hoversten and Phil Hoversten Paula Brodin Donna and Kenton Bruice Andrea and Chris Bryan Lee and Keith Bryant Terri and Tony Caine Lynn and William Carter Castaways Foundation Cristal Clarke Alison Coenen Abrams and Dale Abrams Pamela and Donald Conover Marcia Corbin Bonnie and Ken Davis Karen Davis Dusty and Alexis Diaz Andy Docken Mary Dominick and Sven Coomer Carol Donnally Pam and Ken Dunn Kristin Ericson Carol Fant Carol and Jim Farnsworth Liz and Eric Feder Lynne Feigenbaum and Steven Wolff Jonathan and Stefanie Fillman Patty and Peter Findlay Nanette B. Finger The Fink Family Sara F. Finkle Donald Fleisher Edmund Frank Kristina Fraser Jordan and Pete Gaston Alyson and Justin Gish Jayne Gottlieb Eileen and Richard Greenberg Jane and Allen Grossman Christie Hefner Janet Henick–Popescu and Eduard Popescu Noelle and Cecil Hernandez Ruth and David Hoff Karen and Jefferson Hughes Diane and William Hunckler Chonnie and Paul Jacobson C. Jeannine Johnson Kathleen and Warren Jones Denise Jurgens and Kevin Messerschmidt Nanci and Rick Kalayama Nancy and Mitch Kantor Jaqueline Kaplan and Chad Clark Leslie Kaplan Deborah Kotzubei Judith R. Kravitz Anne Kerr L’Heureux and Matthew L’Heureux Dominique Kun Lee and Zachry Lee Suzann and James Levine

Jenn and Clay Likover Kim Lubel Charles Lucarelli Clayton Maebius Patricia Marino Susan and Lawrence Marx Joe and Jennifer Mason Jacqui Matthews Michael McCrea Ravé Mehta Marjory Musgrave and Frank Peters Amy Nathanson Ilona Nemeth–Quasha and Alan Quasha Michelle and Michael Payne Donna Peak Brooke A. Peterson and Carol Hood Peterson Lori and Tom Pevny Ali and David Phillips Jodi and Bill Pinkham Simon Pinniger and Carolyne Roehm Garrett Reuss Paula Rhodes Myra and Robert Rich Janie Rich Munro and Scott Munro Phillip and Emily Ring Janet A. Roberts and Larry D. Fredrick Marvin Rosenberg Sarah and Adam Roy Lauren Salzer Jennifer and Joseph Samaha Linda and Jay Sandrich Sheri Sanzone and Chris Bendon Shereen and Jordan Sarick Kirsten and Chad Schmit Robert Schultz Susan and W. Ford Schumann Darlene and Jerome Schwoerer Barry Seager Nancy and Barry Shapiro Layne and Michael Shea Rene Sheikh Candace and Daniel Sherman Ellen Silver Terri and Rich Slivka Wendy and David Smith Clifford and Natasha Stowe Suzanne Wolff and Gary Tennenbaum David Trujillo Robin and Peter van Domelen Anne and Frank Vicino Eliza and Ryan Voss Elizabeth Weaver and Michael Marek Susan Welsch Barbara and Charles Winton Susan Wolf and Doug MacLean Paula Zurcher


Corporate Sponsors Our corporate sponsors are making our community a more sustainable place. These donors contributed to ACES and/or sponsored an ACES event between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019. Visionary ($10,000 and above) Alpine Bank Black Diamond/Mountain Khakis Blackrock, Inc. Climate Champion ($5,000 – $9,999) American Solutions for Business Aspen Thrift Shop Bethel Rentals Forum Phi Firstbank Halcyon Productions The Little Nell Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel Pioneer ($2,500 – $4,999) Aspen Rotary Club Aspen Sojourner Aspen Sports Aspen Times Bristlecone Mountain Sports CCY Architects Christie’s International Realty Aspen Lululemon Athletica L’Hostaria Margerum Wine Company Monkey House Carbondale Olivela, Inc.

Post Independent Reese Henry and Company, Inc. Woody Creek Distillers Trailblazer ($1,000 – $2,499) Craig Ward | Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s Carlson Vineyards Chris Klug Properties Clark’s Market Gorsuch Harriman Construction Hopkins Carley Ken Ransford PC Kissane Viola Design Koru Ltd KSPN Lead with Love Of Grape and Grain Patagonia Snowmass Club Ute Mountaineer WJM Design ZGtec Partner ($500 – $999) Aspen Chapel Aspen Daily News Aspen Hatter

Aspen Public House Aspen Valley Services Blazing Adventures Breckenridge Brewery Brunelleschi’s Chris Cohen Photography Elena Gonzalez Gran Farnum Holland + Hart Hollyhock Farms Holy Cross Energy Mile High United Way Mountain Chalet Aspen O2 Aspen Olive and West Photography Patagonia Snowmass Pitkin County Landfill Studio B Architects Two Leaves & a Bud Tea Company Whole Foods Market Roaring Fork Zim Consulting Supporter ($300 – $499) Cold Mountain Craft Mineral + Mine Neil–Garing Mountain West Insurance Stan Clauson and Associates

Events like ACES’ Picnic on the Preserve, an annual celebration of membership, are made possible thanks to support from our corporate sponsors.

Page 25


Administrative Staff Andrea Aust, Education Director

Jim Kravitz, Naturalist Programs Director

Phebe Meyers, Community Programs Senior Manager

Alyssa Barsanti, Agriculture Manager

Chris Lane, Chief Executive Officer

Katie Schwoerer, Finance & Operations Director

Grayson Bauer, Hallam Lake Site & Programs Coordinator

Bowman Leigh, Marketing Manager

Jason Smith, Rock Bottom Ranch Director

Derek Ferguson, School Programs Manager

Christy Mahon, Development Director

Emily Taylor, Development Manager

Ali Hager, Events & Donor Outreach Manager

Adam McCurdy, Climate & Forest Programs Director

Partners ACCESS Roaring Fork Adams State College AJAX Sleepaway Anderson Ranch Arts Center The Art Base Ashcroft Ski Touring Aspen Art Museum Aspen Chapel Aspen Community Foundation Aspen Education Foundation Aspen Elementary School Aspen Fire Department Aspen Global Change Institute Aspen Historical Society The Aspen Institute Aspen Public Radio Aspen School District Aspen Skiing Company The Aspen Times Aspen Valley Land Trust Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club Basalt Education Foundation Basalt Elementary School Basalt High School Cactus Valley Elementary School Cap K Ranch Citizens Climate Lobby

Page 26 – ACES Annual Report 2020

City of Aspen City of Aspen Parks & Open Space City of Aspen Environmental Health Clean Rivers Initiative CO Alliance for Environmental Education CO Mountain College CO Natural Heritage Program CO Parks and Wildlife CO State Forest Service CO State University Community Office for Resource Efficiency Crystal River Elementary School CU Succeed Program East West Hospitality Elk Creek Elementary School EverGreen ZeroWaste Fat City Farmers The Forest Conservancy Garfield County Outdoors Glenwood Springs Post Independent Grassroots TV Great Outdoors Colorado Holy Cross Energy Independence Pass Foundation Kathryn Senor Elementary School Lead with Love Limelight Hotel

The Little Nell The Nature Conservancy Pitkin County Pitkin County Healthy Rivers & Streams Pitkin County Open Space & Trails Protect Our Winters Ritz Carlton Club Roaring Fork Anglers Roaring Fork Audubon Roaring Fork Conservancy Roaring Fork High School Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers Roaring Fork Transit Authority Rotary Club of Aspen Snowmass Tourism Town of Snowmass Village U.S. Forest Service U.S.F.S. White River National Forest University of Colorado Upper CO River Interagency Fire Management Unit WE–cycle Western Colorado University Wilderness Workshop


Where We Work Eagle

Glenwood Springs

Rifle

Carbondale Basalt ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch

Aspen ACES at Hallam Lake

Marble

ACES at The Catto Center Tolkat

Paonia

Aspen Area American Lake Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Aspen Community School Aspen Country Day Aspen Elementary School Aspen High School Aspen Meadows Trail Aspen Middle School Aspen Mountain Buttermilk Mountain Castle Creek Valley Cathedral Lake Catto Center at Toklat The Collective Snowmass Crater Lake Early Learning Center East of Aspen Ashcroft Ghost Town Hallam Lake Hunter Creek Maroon Creek Trail Maroon Lake Mt. Tots Preschool North Star Nature Preserve Red Butte Ritz Carlton Club Snowmass Nature Trail Snowmass Rabbit Run The Cottage Preschool U.S. Forest Service Office Weller Lake Wildwood

Basalt Area Basalt Elementary School Basalt High School Basalt Middle School Blue Lake Preschool Cornerstone Christian Academy Glassier Open Space Rock Bottom Ranch Spring Creek Woods Easment Carbondale Area Carbondale Community School Carbondale Middle School Colorado Mountain College Colorado Rocky Mountain School Crystal River Elementary School Roaring Fork High School Ross Montessori School Waldorf School of Roaring Fork Valley Eagle Area Brush Creek Elementary School Glenwood Springs Area Glenwood Springs Elementary School Glenwood Springs High School Glenwood Springs Middle School Riverview School Saint Stephen’s School Skylark School Sopris Elementary School St. Stephen’s School Sunlight Ski Area Two Rivers Community School Yampah High School

Marble Area Marble Charter School North Fork Valley Area North Fork Montessori Paonia Elementary School Rifle/New Castle Area Cactus Valley Elementary School Coal Ridge High School Elk Creek Elementary School Graham Mesa Elementary School Kathryn Senor Elementary School Rifle Middle School Riverside Middle School Wamsley Elementary School Other Colorado Parks & Wildlife (Denver) Denver University Great Sand Dunes National Park Logan School Meeker High School Mesa County Mount Princeton Ridgway State Park Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Annual report photos courtesy of ACES staff, Aspen Historical Society; Cassatt Collection (located on page 23), Chris Cohen Photography, Olive & West Photography, and Peter Feinzig. ACES would also like to thank Catherine Lutz for her contributions to ACES annual report.

Page 27


You protect what you love. You love what you understand. You understand what you are taught. Baba Dioum, Senegalese Forestry Engineer

Page 28 – ACES Annual Report 2020


Dragonfly, Order: Odonata (Anisoptera). Photo taken at Hallam Lake as part of ACES’ Hallam Lake Bioblitz project in June 2019.

Page 29


NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID GLENWOOD SPGS, CO PERMIT NO. 90

Connect with Us Sign up for our email newsletter @AspenCenterforEnvironmentalStudies @ACESaspen @ACESaspen and @ACESrbr @AspenCenterforEnvironmentalStudies @AspenCenterforEnvironmentalStudies AspenNature.org Page A – ACES Annual Report 2020