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50 years of‌ Connecting people with nature Connecting people with people

50 years of‌ Educating for environmental responsibility

Table of Contents Letter from the CEO


About ACES




Tomorrow’s Voices


Regenerative Agriculture


Naturalist Programs


Naturalist Field School


Forest Health


Catto Center at Tolkat


Celebrating Community




Our Energy


Membership & Our Donors


Legacy Planning




Where We Work


Annual Report 2019


Letter from the CEO 50 Years of ACES… and the Next 1,000 Human minds and cultures did not evolve to think in terms of 1,000 years – life expectancy is about 80 years; careers may last a few decades; elections are often four years; returns on investments are annualized; and we plan most of our lives on a weekly basis. For ACES’ 50th anniversary, we are challenging ourselves to plan for our next 50 years of work. But, when it comes to our environment, we must think about this next 50 years as if it’s 1,000 years. While thinking generations ahead clearly isn’t a new concept, it is now more critical than ever before. According to a new 1,500page United Nations report by the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, humans are transforming nature so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction (by comparison, 680 species were erased from earth in the last 400 years)! But this report went a step further than past assessments of human impacts on nature: it assessed nature’s impact on humans. More WTIGMǻGEPP]LS[LEVQXSREXYVILEVQW human civilization. MQTP]TYX[IGERƶXEǺSVHRSXXS protect our environment. In the Americas alone, nature provides some XVMPPMSRSJRSRQSRIXM^IHFIRIǻXW


Aspen Aspen Center Center for for Environmental Environmental Studies Studies

to humans each year. The decline of wild bees that help pollinate crops risks $580 billion in food production. Losing mangroves could expose 300 million people to increased risk of ǼSSHW(SVEPVIIJWWYWXEMRXSYVMWQ ERHǻWLIVMIW;IXPERHWTYVMJ]HVMROMRK water. Rainforests absorb immense quantities of carbon dioxide. Exotic plants form the basis of a variety of medicines. The list goes on and on. According to the report, if nothing changes, we may witness the disappearance of one-third of marine mammals, 40 percent of amphibian species, and one-third of reefforming corals. In total, three-fourths of the world’s land area has been WMKRMǻGERXP]EPXIVIHF]TISTPIERH percent of the world’s wetlands have vanished in the last 100 years. Solutions to these challenges do exist, but the will to act hinges on ensuring that society is ecologically literate so that people understand the implications of their decisions. This is what ACES does best. Fifty years ago, forward thinking people like Bob Lewis, Stuart Mace, and Elizabeth Paepcke knew it was time for humans to understand how to care for the planet. Thus, ACES was born. Now, ACES “educates for environmental responsibility” in our schools, on our mountains, and in iconic natural locations around western Colorado. Every year we

make more than 140,000 education contacts; we help regional schools meet state science standards; and we provide classroom environmental science to more than 1,800 students per week. We host some of the world’s most renowned eco-luminaries. We conduct habitat restoration work on thousands of acres. We teach the region to rethink how we grow and eat food through regenerative agriculture. We produce tens of thousands of pounds of local, sustainable food for our communities. We bring people together, promoting community spirit to share, discuss, and debate issues critical to our local and national environmental well-being. 8LIPMZIW[IƶZIEǺIGXIH8LI community bonds we’ve helped create. The natural world we have worked to restore and protect. All of this is why ACES exists. And yet, we know it still is not enough. Our planet’s environmental challenges continue to grow. In the next 50 years, ACES will continue its work to build a community of ecologically literate citizens, being a beacon of sciencebased environmental leadership for all ages, creating a deeper connection between humans and the natural world. We will improve the visitor experience at all ACES sites so that we can provide an unparalleled educational encounter and community destination to learn about nature, agriculture, forests,

About ACES and energy. We will restore natural habitats throughout our region and help people understand how nature can heal us from a physical as well as mental health perspective. And so, we plan for the next 50 years as if it were 1,000 years, even though none of us will be around to witness it. But, our kids will. And if we succeed, they will know that it all started in the early 21st century when dedicated, JSV[EVHXLMROMRKTISTPIǻREPP] HIGMHIHXSEGXVIEPM^MRK[IQYWXǻRH a balance between human needs and the natural world. That alone makes me sleep better at night. .LSTI]SYƶPPNSMRSYVQSZIQIRX and help us celebrate the last 50 years… and the next 1,000.

Educating for Environmental Responsibility for 50 Years. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is a RSRTVSǻXIRZMVSRQIRXEPWGMIRGIIHYGEXMSRSVKERM^EXMSR with three locations in the Roaring Fork watershed: Hallam Lake, Rock Bottom Ranch, and the Catto Center at Toklat. Making more than 140,000 annual education contacts, ACES reaches Colorado residents and visitors through guided hikes, environmental science lessons in schools ERHMRXLIǻIPHOMHWGEQTWERHEHYPXGPEWWIWTYFPMG 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 partners with land trusts, public agencies, KSZIVRQIRXIRXMXMIWERHSXLIVRSRTVSǻXWXSGSPPEFSVEXI SRVIKMSREPPERHWXI[EVHWLMTIǺSVXW5VSNIGXWMRGPYHI restoration and cooperative management on open space, public lands, and private lands under conservation easement.


Annual Report 2019


ACES Ed: A Science Classroom Without Boundaries In ACES’ 50th year, our commitment to educating for environmental responsibility has never been stronger. ACES EdGYVVIRXP]SǺIVWTVSKVEQWXS the widest range of students in its history, providing environmental science education from early childhood through high school, including courses for college-credit and ecological teacher retreats. This year, ACES Ed expanded MXWTVSKVEQWXSMRGPYHIXLIGSQQYRMXMIWSJ7MǼIMPX5EVEGLYXI'EXXPIQIRX Mesa, and New Castle. Thanks to a multi-year grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, ACES Ed was able to engage more diverse populations, helping to FVMHKIXLIKETFIX[IIRXLIIRZMVSRQIRXEPQSZIQIRXERHWSGMEPNYWXMGI


Over the past year, ACES EdJYVXLIVI\TERHIHMRXSXLI,EVǻIPH(SYRX] WGLSSPHMWXVMGXXSTVSZMHIFSXLMRWGLSSPERHǻIPHTVSKVEQSTTSVXYRMXMIWJSV kindergarten through 5th grade students, as well as a paid Outdoor Careers MRXIVRWLMTJSVWXYHIRXWEX,VERH:EPPI](SEP7MHKIERH7MǼILMKLWGLSSPW in partnership with Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers and Fat City Farmers. ACES Educators led weekly environmental science classes at Elk Creek and 0EXLV]RIRSV*PIQIRXEV]MR3I[(EWXPIERH[MPPSǺIVIRZMVSRQIRXEPWGMIRGI programming at Cactus Valley Elementary in Silt, and Wamsley, Highland, ERH,VELEQ2IWE*PIQIRXEV]WGLSSPWMR7MǼISZIVXLIRI\XX[S]IEVW 'YMPHMRKSǺSJ&(*ƶRI[MRWGLSSPTVSKVEQWMR,EVǻIPH(SYRX]ACES Ed EPWSTVSZMHIHMRXIKVEXIHǻIPHWGMIRGIERHSYXHSSVI\TPSVEXMSRTVSKVEQW at various sites along the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River. These TVSKVEQWMRXVSHYGIHWXYHIRXWRSXNYWXXSWGMIRGIGSRXIRXFYXEPWSXS important outdoor locations in their region, from their backyard of the (SPSVEHS7MZIVERH7MǼI,ETXSXLILMKLTIEOWSJXLI*PO2SYRXEMRW.R EHHMXMSR&(*FIKERXVEMRMRK,EVǻIPH(SYRX]XIEGLIVWXSYXMPM^I&(*ƶ unique curriculum with the goal of incorporating ACES Ed lessons into their classrooms to help meet Colorado State Science Standards.

new youth contacts per year as a result of ACES Ed’s further expansion into Garfield County


field programs in 2018


full-time ACES Educators


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Ed is cultivating the next generation of environmental stewards who can make ecologically informed

The Numbers


“The future of ACES

decisions in an increasingly


hours of environmental science education provided to students from Garfield County


schools and youth organizations participated in ACES Ed programs in 2018


in-school classes in 2018

complex world.”

Tomorrow’s Voices: Civic Engagement & Ecological Citizenship Founded in 2000, Tomorrow’s Voices is a college-level course SǺIVIHIEGLWIQIWXIVJSV7SEVMRK Fork Valley high school students. ;MXLEJSGYWSRWSGMEPNYWXMGI and environmental stewardship, Tomorrow’s Voices tackles a range of issues through discussion-based, action-oriented investigations. Students are encouraged to listen, to speak their mind, and to apply what they learn in class to their daily actions.

“The future of Tomorrow’s Voices is growing a cohort of active, young citizens able to form their own opinions, listen to different perspectives, and act to create a more

Moving forward, we aspire to just world.” bring in a wider range of high caliber speakers and presenters to Tomorrow’s Voices. Knowing that diversity is critical to transformative education, ACES is expanding this program’s capacity to help students in 50 Year Milestone RIIHSJǻRERGMEPEWWMWXERGIF][EMZMRK &(*TEVXRIVIH[MXLPSGEP some or all tuition fees associated RSRTVSǻX8SQSVVS[ƶW:SMGIWMR with this college-level class. XSJYVXLIVEGGSQTPMWLXLIMV In our current environmental, social, QMWWMSRERHIQTS[IVLMKLWGLSSP and political climate, empowering WXYHIRXWXSVIEGLXLIMVJYPPTSXIRXMEP young adults to be active, informed, EWVIWTSRWMFPIKPSFEPGMXM^IRW and ethical citizens continues to be 8SQSVVS[ƶW:SMGIWSǽGMEPP]QIVKIH our utmost priority. [MXL&(*MR

The Numbers



Over 550


hours of political science and environmental ethics education each year

students over 19 years of Tomorrow’s Voices classes

teacher-student ratio


of students’ first college experience is through Tomorrow’s Voices

dollars raised to support Tomorrow’s Voices at the 2019 Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Annual Report 2019


Regenerative Agriculture: Teaching Sustainable Food Systems Increasing carbon emissions is the QSWXWMKRMǻGERXIRZMVSRQIRXEP challenge facing our world today - in large part, due to the impact of agricultural practices. Yet, the solution to these challenges can also be found in agriculture, where there exists real opportunity for increased GEVFSRWIUYIWXVEXMSRNSFGVIEXMSR invigorated local communities, and IGSRSQMGEPP]TVSǻXEFPIFYWMRIWW models. The future of our country and environment is literally in the hands of the next generation of farmers. 6

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

At Rock Bottom Ranch, ACES is modeling a regenerative agriculture system that prioritizes carbon sequestration, ecosystem health, IRIVK]IǽGMIRG]PERHWXI[EVHWLMT animal welfare, and social heritage. This work occurs in an outdoor classroom that hosts over 10,000 educational contacts annually, where visitors learn about the relationship between food production and the health of our planet. Educational events, including Farm-to-Table Dinners, ACES’ annual Harvest Party, Contra Dance, and our Burlap Dinner series, encourage guests to connect to food and farming in a deeper and more meaningful way. In 2018, ACES continued to invest in developing infrastructure that demonstrates scalable, replicable systems of regenerative agriculture. The Skid House and Hoop Coop, both mobile hoop-houses, were put

into production. We recognized the multi-use potential of these structures to enhance an environment that is favorable to both traditional vegetable production systems and livestock season extension. For example, the Skid House is home to heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and other warm season crops during the spring, summer, and fall, and home to laying hens in the winter. In the coming year, we will be completing EWSMPEREP]WMWTVSNIGXXLEX[MPP measure the ability for soil at Rock Bottom Ranch to capture carbon, retain moisture, and cycle nutrients as a result of ACES’ regenerative agriculture methods.

The Numbers Greenhouse Technologies: A temperature snapshot of our season extension structures: One of the coldest nights of 2018: January 3rd, 7:00AM, -14º F

Rolling Thunder

CORE House

Seed Start House

(hoophouse; basic metal frame/polyethylene plastic): 5.2º F

(hoophouse; adds insulation and climate battery): 25.3º F

(passive solar design; contains wall insulation, ground insulation, climate battery, thermal mass):


,1 25








Food Production: With infrastructure MRZIWXQIRXWMRGVIEWIHEKVMGYPXYVEPWXEǽRK and the introduction of food-based educational events, Rock Bottom Ranch food production has increased dramatically over the last 5 years.

43.3º F

1 1 2 / 2 0


2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8

50 Year Milestone

“The future of agriculture at Rock Bottom


Ranch is creating food literate citizens who are knowledgeable, capable, and motivated to create change through food choice.”

Annual Report 2019


Naturalist Program: Training Future Environmental Leaders Each June, ACES spends two weeks training 16 new Summer Naturalists. These enthusiastic college graduates spend the next two and a half months guiding hikes and providing educational outreach for both visitors and residents at iconic sites throughout the Aspen area. Following the summer season, many Naturalists are re-hired to work through the winter, providing them with an opportunity to continue growing as educators and leaders. Through training, individual research, and guiding, Naturalists develop a deep knowledge of local ecology, environmental issues, human history,

The future of the Naturalist Program is utilizing ACES’ newly-created alumni network to connect young environmental leaders and spark positive, lasting change.


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

and the physical landscape. Over the course of the summer, Naturalists learn to use storytelling to explain EVERKISJWYFNIGXWMRWTMVMRKE connection to the Aspen area for over 42,000 locals and visitors in 2018. While at ACES, Naturalists often develop greater understanding and TEWWMSRJSVXLIWYFNIGXWXLI]EVI 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 [SVPHEǺIGXMRKGLERKI&WWGMIRXMWXW teachers, land managers, policy QEOIVWRSRTVSǻXEHQMRMWXVEXSVW and sustainability experts, Naturalists further ACES mission when they bring their knowledge, communication skills, and appreciation of the natural world to new communities.


The Numbers


Naturalists trained by ACES since 1987


tour participants at the Maroon Bells/Snowmass/Aspen Mountain in summer 2018

“The future of ACES’ Naturalist Field School is to provide the highest quality environmental education experience for students of all ages, including evaluating and expanding

Naturalist Field School: Outdoor Classrooms for All Ages

programming to better serve

For over 35 years, ACES’ Naturalist Field School (NFS) has connected students of all ages with the natural world, educating and inspiring participants to feel a sense of place in their surroundings and passion for lifelong learning. Beginning as a 8-week seminar series for adults in 1980, NFS has grown to include a range of programs that combine environmental science education with outdoor exploration. NFS programs transform the local environment into a community classroom, providing relevant, engaging, and exciting program opportunities for learners and adventurers of all ages. Whether over the course of a day or a week, participants form lasting friendships as they share in immersive and informative experiences in nature. Expert educators return to Hallam Lake year after year to share their knowledge and reconnect with this special community. 8LMW]IEV&(*SǺIVIHSYVǻVWXIZIV;SQIRMRXLI;MPH,MVPW1IEHIVWLMT Backpacking course for 11-14 year olds. In addition, our Arin Trook Sustainability & Education Apprenticeship Program for high school students continued to engage teenagers with local organizations and leaders JSGYWMRKSRIRZMVSRQIRXEPERHWSGMEPNYWXMGIMWWYIWMRXLIZEPPI]&(*ƶ ever-growing group of Educator-in-Training Volunteers contributed their curiosity, enthusiasm, and understanding of ACES to help make our kids summer programs even better. ACES also celebrated the 2018 “Year of the 'MVHƹF]MRGVIEWMRK&(*ƶFMVHMRKTVSKVEQSǺIVMRKWXLVSYKLSYXXLIZEPPI] +SVEHYPXW&(*SǺIVIHERI['YVPET)MRRIVWIVMIWMREJSGYWIH evening of learning and socializing over a family-style meal at Rock Bottom Ranch. Through this series, we provided the opportunity for GEWYEPGSRZIVWEXMSRFIX[IIRGPEWWTEVXMGMTERXWERHWXEǺEVSYRH&(*ƶ regenerative agriculture systems.

our local communities.”

The Numbers


hours that kids spend outside


Summer Educator-in-Training Volunteers (ages 14-18)


dollars offered in scholarships


species of birds seen during our bird classes


Annual Annual Report Report 2019 2019


Forest Health: Ecosystem Restoration & Climate Education Over the last twenty years, the rise of the mountain pine bark beetle ERHQIKEǻVIWLEWPIH(SPSVEHSERH much of the western US to realize the true vulnerability of our forests. Combined with persistent drought, rising temperatures, and years of ǻVIWYTTVIWWMSRXVIIQSVXEPMX]LEW increased to a level unseen in recent history. While mountain pine bark beetle populations have declined, our forests continue to struggle against the impacts of climate change, other insects, and disease. ACES Forest Programs was founded to better understand and address these alarming trends through restoration, education, research, and monitoring. We continue to work toward this goal through on-the-ground restoration in the Hunter-Smuggler area, education and monitoring using the Forest Health Index (www.foresthealthindex. org), and research with the help of our Forest Forecast Model (www.forestforecasts.org).

In 2018, ACES Forest Programs expanded our Forest Health Index to cover every forested watershed in Colorado. In partnership with the City of Aspen and Pitkin County, ACES treated 170 acres of the Hunter Creek Valley for invasive weeds, such as thistle and mullein. In December, we released our 5th annual State of the Forest Report for the Roaring Fork Watershed, and also collaborated with the Mountain Studies Institute (based in Durango) to create a State of the Forest Report for the San Juan Watershed.


“The future

The Numbers

of ACES’ Forest Programs


is statewide education

Colorado watersheds included in the Forest Health Index

1.8 degrees


amount of warming (thus far) in the 21st century in Pitkin County


Total acreage that has undergone restoration treatment to date 10

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

highlighting the connections between forests and climate change”

The future of the Catto Center at Toklat is a renovated wilderness retreat center where leaders, community members, and students can connect with the wild through programs, events, and residency programs.

Catto Center At Toklat: A Wilderness Retreat 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 EPMOISǺIVMRKEWTEGI[LIVITISTPI GERGSQIXSKIXLIVXSVIǼIGX VINYZIREXIERHJIIPMRWTMVIHF]XLI local environment.

:MWMXSVWǻRHXLIMV[E]XSXLI(EXXS Center at Toklat for a variety of reasons, whether as part of a professional retreat, workshop, GSQQYRMX]TSXPYGOǻIPHWGMIRGI 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. Each winter, resident Naturalists at the Catto Center at Toklat share their unique skills by hosting a free workshop series for the community.

In addition, artist in residence Elena Gonzalez and her family, have been an integral part of the Catto Center at Toklat for over 30 years. Each summer, Elena teaches the art of weaving and dyeing as her indigenous community has sustainably practiced for generations in Oaxaca, Mexico.


Annual Annual Report Report 2019 2019

11 11

Celebrating Community ACES preserves its long-standing tradition of bringing the community together through events that engage, inform, and inspire. Ranging from community lectures to gourmet farm-to-table dinners, ACES IZIRXWRSYVMWLXLIQMRH[LMPIFYMPHMRKGSQQYRMX]ERHEǺIGXMRKTSWMXMZIGLERKI

Naturalist Nights: Each winter, this free 10-week speaker series brings experts to Hallam Lake to discuss groundbreaking topics MRXLIMVǻIPHWSJWXYH]

Jessica Catto Dialogues: This lecture series brings world-renowned environmental leaders and luminaries to Aspen to inspire civic engagement, WSGMEPNYWXMGIIGSW]WXIQTVIWIVZEXMSRERHGPMQEXIEGXMSR

Potbelly Perspectives: Born from the tradition of storytelling around a potbelly stove, this 10-week speaker series brings community members to Hallam Lake to share their adventures.

Picnic on the Preserve: &(*OMGOWSǺXLIWYQQIVWIEWSRMR/YRI[MXLSYVERRYEP celebration of ACES membership at this picnic-style dinner at Hallam Lake.


Farm to Table Dinners: Throughout the growing season, ACES hosts elegant, locally-sourced meals at Rock Bottom Ranch that include an educational farm tour.


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Raptor Fair: Raptor Fair draws visitors of all ages to see birds of prey up close. This free event in July educates the community about these keystone predators.

Fall Colors Membership Potluck: Each September, experience the peak of fall colors with friends at ACES’ annual membership potluck at the Catto Center at Toklat.

Evening on the Lake: 8LMW/YP]FIRIǻXFVMRKWKYIWXWXS-EPPEQ1EOIXSIRNS] a locally-sourced meal in support of ACES’ environmental education programs.

Contra Dance: ACES’ community Contra Dance features a string band and caller, dinner, drinks, and dancing in the pole barn at Rock Bottom Ranch.

Stars Above Aspen: Every August, ACES partners with the Aspen Skiing Company to host a special community astronomy night on top of Aspen Mountain.

Harvest Party: ACES celebrates the harvest at Rock Bottom Ranch in October with a community event that includes pumpkincarving, apple-pressing, a silent auction, and more. Annual Annual Report Report 2019 2019

13 13

Revenue Revenue & Other Support






ȦȉȦȮȍȏȰ ȶȟȴȏȏȏȰ




Membership Income




Admission & Tuition




Other Income













Educational Expense




Total Program Expenses







Investment Income Total Expenses


Program Expenses

Investment Income 1%

Admission & Tuition 19%

Contributions 50%

Membership Income 6%

Other Income 12%

Endowment 12%

Supporting Service Expenses Management & General Expenses Fundraising Expenses




Total Supporting Service Expenses




Total Expenses Excess of Revenue over Expenses


Assets Cash & Cash Equivalents Pledges Receivable Inventory









ȍȶȶȮȁȰȁ ȮȮȮȰȏȶ

ȏȴȉȴȰȟȮ ȴȰȰȰȦȶȉ ȟȟȍȍȴȏ








Land, Building & Equipment




Total Assets










Accounts Payable & Accrued Expenses Note Payable




Total Liabilities










Net Assets Unrestructed Net Assets


Management & General Expenses 10%


Fundraising Expenses 14%

Temporarily Restricted Net Assets

Program Expenses 76%

Permanently Restriced Assets

ȴȟȍȉȉȉȉ ȴȟȍȉȉȉȉ ȴȟȍȉȉȉȉ

Total Net Assets

ŏƑØîăŀØŏƑî ŏƗØŀŏăØƑŀlj ŏƗØăŏŀØîîƑ

Total Liabilities & Net Assets


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies


Ȧȁȁȴȏȟȍ ȶȴȮȟȉȰȁ

Revenue & Expenses Yet again, ACES obtained a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. This exceptional rating means that ACES exceeds industry standards and outperforms most GLEVMXMIWMRMXWGEXIKSV]JSVǝRERGMEPLIEPXLEGGSYRXEFMPMX] and transparency.

Ă˘ÄŠĹŁÄƒa âĊa Ă˘Ć‘ĹŁÄƒa âƑa

8LIÇťWGEP]IEVGSRGPYHIH[MXLMR total revenue, a 30 percent increase from the prior year. &WEVIÇźIGXMSRSJGSRXMRYIHGSQQYRMX]WYTTSVXJSVSYV mission and programs, membership revenue increased by approximately 15% from the previous year. Our educational and geographic reach expanded in 2017/18 and as a result total expenses increased by 10% year-over-year to $2,598,618.

Ă˘Ć—ĹŁÄƒa âƗa âĹ?ĹŁÄƒa âĹ?a Ă˘ÄƒÇ‰Ç‰ âlj ĹŻĹ?ljôŹĹ?Ĺ?






8LIǝRERGMEPWXEXIQIRXWSJ&(*[IVIEYHMXIHF]7IIWI-IRV]  Company, Inc. A copy of the complete Independent Auditor’s Report is available on the ACES website.




Our Energy

ACES’ Net Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Metric Tons

ACES continues to work toward its goal to reduce carbon emissions. In 2018, ACES’ carbon output increased by 10.6% over 2017’s totals. This can be partially attributed to the colder fall and expanding ACES Ed programming, which requires more travel than in previous years. Rock Bottom Ranch increased its energy independence by producing 37% of its electrical consumption from its 25-kw photovoltaic system (compared to 31% in 2017).






Nat Gas














ACES is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and is currently exploring options such as replacing Hallam Lake’s antiquated pump that supplies our heat pump and trout tank with water. Switching to a modern single phase, multi-speed pump has the potential to save 6% of our overall electrical consumption at the Hallam Lake nature center. We look forward to producing results in the coming year that can be used as examples for the Roaring Fork community that we serve.


Annual Report 2019


Membership: Making an Impact Donor Circles

Young Environmental Advocates (YEA)

ACES’ Donor Circles members are knowledgeable, powerful voices for the environment, both in the Roaring Fork Valley and across the nation. With annual giving totalling $1,200 or more, Donor Circles members see their MRZIWXQIRXWQEOMRKEXERKMFPIHMǺIVIRGIERH[ERXXS shape our future for generations to come. Donor Circles QIQFIVWIRNS]WTIGMEPSTTSVXYRMXMIWXSQIIX[MXLZMWMXMRK environmental leaders and speakers, as well as priority registration to sold-out events such as ACES’ summer FIRIǻX*ZIRMRKSRXLI1EOIERH+EVQXS8EFPI)MRRIVW at Rock Bottom Ranch. Donor Circles members also receive invitations to unique dinners like ACES’ Snow Moon Dinner at the Catto Center at Toklat. To further recognize your generosity, Donor Circles members are recognized in ACES’ Annual Report and on our donor wall at ACES’ Hallam Lake visitor center.

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 30 years ERH]SYRKIV&(*SǺIVWEWTIGMEPQIQFIVWLMT level with the goal of creating opportunities for young professionals 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. For more information on ACES membership, please visit aspennature.org or contact Development Director, Christy Mahon, at 970.925.5756 or cmahon@aspennature.org.

Donor Profile: John McBride Conservationist and businessman, John McBride, has made an incredible impact on the Roaring Fork Valley community. What many may not know is that he was also one of ACES’ founding board members. In 1969, John was recruited by Elizabeth Paepcke and Stuart Mace to help create a preserve in the heart of Aspen that would serve as a bridge back to nature for an increasingly urbanized society. John not only helped to build one of the most respected environmental science centers in the country, but has also fought tirelessly to protect wildlife and wildlands through this work with Wildlife Conservation Trust, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and the Sopris Foundation. Today, John continues to make a HMǺIVIRGIF]WYTTSVXMRK&(*8SQSVVS[ƶW:SMGIWTVSKVEQ for high school students, carrying on the tradition initiated by Elizabeth Paepcke and Stuart Mace in the 1960s of opening hearts and minds to the wonder and importance of nature. 16

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Our Donors We would like to thank the following individuals, businesses, organizations, and families for their extraordinary support from November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018. 7IGSKRMXMSRMRXLI&(*&RRYEP7ITSVXMWEFIRIǝXSJ'MKLSVRLIITQIQFIVWLMT ERHEFSZI Chairman’s Circle ($50,000 and above) Anonymous Thomas and Currie Barron Ed Bass and Sasha Camacho Catto Shaw Foundation Neal and Jan Dempsey John and Ann Doerr Larry and Lori Fink Melony and Adam Lewis Jerry and Gina Murdock Walton Family Foundation Restorer’s Circle ($25,000 - $49,999) Anonymous (2) Allison and Warren Kanders Malott Family Foundation Margot and Thomas Pritzker Lynda and Stewart Resnick  /IǺVI]ERH*PMWLE>ERHIV Benefactor ($10,000 - $24,999) Anonymous (2) Gerhard and Robyn Assenmacher James and Donna Barksdale Amy and Gilchrist Berg Ella and Scott Brittingham Sam Brown and Alison Teal John and Jackie Bucksbaum  'MPP'YHMRKIVERH>S¾'EMVH Michael Carricarte City of Aspen Fidel Duke The Environment Foundation  Y^ERRI+EVZIVERH(PMRX:ER>II John and Jessica Fullerton Jamie and Bush Helzberg Michael and Carol Hundert Bill and Ellen Hunt Shana and Clint Johnstone Reenie Kinney and Scott Hicks Margaret and Daniel Loeb Marcie and Robert Musser David Newberger Wally Obermeyer and Helen Ward Ilona and Chad Oppenheim Pitkin County Healthy Community Fund RCG Fund Don and Barbara Rosenberg Gunnar and Alex Sachs  1MWEERH)EZMHGLMǺ Becky and Christopher Steere The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation Innovator ($5,000 - $9,999) Buddy and Connie Bates The Baum Foundation Mike and Jackie Bezos

Kristen and Charles Bieler Ruth H. Brown Foundation Carla and John Brozovich Glenn Bucksbaum Bill and Jess Budinger Ruth Carver Sarah Challinor Sally Cole Water Innovation Fund Gary and Sylvie Crum Maja and Nicholas DuBrul Lauren and Ryan Elston Judith Fisher Alan and Diane Franco Pat Goudvis Wally and Kristen Graham Jan and Ronald Greenberg  5IVV]ERH2MGLIPPI,VMǽXL  2EV]ERH/MQ,VMǽXL Margot and Richard Hampleman Bobbi and Matt Hapgood Leelee and Bill Harriman Ellen Bronfman Hauptman - and Andrew Hauptman Shirley and Barnett Helzberg Annie and Jerry Hosier Quincy Lee and Lora Reynolds Ms. Toby D. Lewis  /SREXLER1I[MWERH2EVO>MXIPPM Laurie and John McBride Leslie and John McQuown Andrea and Bobby McTamaney Willem and Lisa Mesdag Betty and Lloyd Schermer Rachel and Tony Sherman Robin and Kenny Smith Michelle Smith Tillie Walton Joe and Carrie Wells Advocate ($2,500 - $4,999) Pamela Alexander Carrie and Stephen Bellotti Sallie and Thomas Bernard Galen Bright and Lucy Tremols Clint and Nancy Carlson William and Kristina Catto Tom and Megan Clark Camille Cook and Laura Hutcheson Nicole DeWolf  2YǺ]ERH&RH])MEFEXMRS Laura Donnelley Leo and Marcy Edelstein Cinda and Donnelley Erdman Clayton and Shel Erikson George and Susan Fesus Peter and Patty Findlay Sherri and Dean Goodwin Robert and Soledad Hurst Cindy Kahn and Steve Marker

Jack and Diane Kennedy The Knapp Fund Bill and Sheila Lambert Linda Lay Barbara and Jonathan Lee Kim Master and Noah Lieb Diane Moore and Joel Sax Norman and Melinda Payson Hensley and James Peterson Robert Purvis Betsy Ann Rockett Sheri Sanzone and Chris Bendon Mark and Lorraine Schapiro Ashley and Mike Ramos The Schuster Family Foundation Phyllis and David Scruggs Wendy and David Smith  /MPPSÇşIVERHXIZI*PHIV Jennifer Allan Soros Allison and Ben Tiller Linda and Dennis Vaughn Robert Wagner and Jill St. John William Wrigley, Jr. Steward ($1,200 - 2,499) Anonymous (2) Susan and Jack Apple Claudia and Richard Balderston Cara and Robert Barnes Meredith Bell Barbara and Bruce Berger  /IÇşERH'IGO]'IVOYW Ginny and Charles Brewer Maury and Susan Brochstein John Rowland and Sarah Broughton Kenton and Donna Bruice Annie and Coley Cassidy Charles Cole Eric and April Cotsen Carol Craig Michael and Kam Davies Jamie and Steven Dell Anthony M. Dilucia Marsha and David Dowler Muriel and John Eulich Carol and Jim Farnsworth Joan Fabry and Michael Klein Filipa and Joshua Fink Andrew and Kristen Firman Kevin Geiser and Ann Dahmer Julie and Jim Hager Sally and Steve Hansen  /SLRERREERH8SHH-SIÇşRIV Clark and Tavia Hunt Gail and Ben Jacobs Matthew and Jessica Jay Kirsten and Kyle Johnstone Mike and Laura Kaplan Christine Karnes Jane and Gerald Katcher Annual Annual Report Report 2019 2019

17 17

Legacy Planning: Elizabeth Paepcke Society Let us become aware, at this crucial moment, of our own power and responsibility to shape the natural world, our families, and our communities. As a supporter of ACES, you can play a WMKRMǻGERXVSPIMRTVSXIGXMRKSYVIRZMVSRQIRXJSV future generations by including ACES in your will or trust. Leave a lasting legacy, while helping to protect the natural places you care about. Please contact Development Director, Christy Mahon at 970.925.5756 or cmahon@aspennature.org for more information.

Our Donors Steward (cont.)  /IǺERH-]YRNE0IRRIV Laura and Gary Lauder Rebecca and Doug Leibinger Amanda and Justin Leonard Russell Libby and Mary Schmidt-Libby Francine and Tag Liebel Victor and Darlene Liss Elizabeth and Adam Lowenstein Pete McBride Jamie Brewster McLeod and Glen McLeod Barbara and John Patrick McMahon Gary Plumley Alan Quasha and Ilona Nemeth-Quasha Susan and Rod Ralls Loren and Mary Ryerson Carole and Gordon Segal Wendy and Mike Sidley Albert H. Small Bill Stirling William J. Stolz Carol and Jim Swiggett Victoria and Luke Tuddenham Brittany and Colter Van Domelen Eleanor von Stade Bob and Ruth Wade Christopher English Walling Tamara and Frank Woods  'SRMJEGIERH&PMWSR>EMRS


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Black Bear ($600 - $1,199) Anonymous Vanessa and Karl Adam Devin and Sally Aronstam Elizabeth Ballinger Gavin and Gina Beekman Coventry and Davis Berg Seth and Cori Berger Gina Berko and David Fleisher Daniel Bleznak Karen Brooks Molly Brooks Carolyn S. Bucksbaum Julie Case Richard Check David Corbin Joanie and Guillaume Crete Bobbi and Michael Ortiz Jesse and Chris Davenport Brian and Andy Davies De Turris Family Andy Docken  1]RRI+IMKIRFEYQERHXIZIR;SPǺ Greer and Bruce Fox Jonathan and Erin Frankel Barbara Fretz Ashley Friedman  )V/IǺ,PE^IVERH)V1MWE'VEYR,PE^IV Nicholas Groos Andrew and Jamie Gunion The Irving Harris Foundation Barbara and Gerald Hines

Rusty and John Jaggers Marianne and Richard Kipper Josh and Rena Kopelman Karen Gray-Krehbiel and John Krehbiel Hilary and Andrew Landis Frederick and Susan Lodge Peter Looram Sam and Peter Louras Marian Melville Sarah Meserve David and Fredericka Middleton Kristy Mora Charles and Marina Nitze Jim and Jan Patterson Karl and Holly Peterson Ali and David Phillips Lynn and John Phillips Michele Rubenstein Kaja Rumney Brigette Schabdach Judith Scherer Torrey Simons Colter and Meredith Smith Katie Solondz Gillian and Robert Steel Michael and Ariel Tiedemann Barbara Trueman Susan Wolf and Doug MacLean  5EYPE>YVGLIV

Big Horn Sheep ($300 - $599) Anonymous (2) Duane and Sherry Abbott Barbara Adams Chris Ann and Bill Brown Steve James Aucamp Julie and Harrison Augur Carol and Robert Auld Anne Austin-Clapper Amiee White Beazley and Brian Beazley Skip and Donna Behrhorst Lucy and Richard Belding Drs. Paula and William Bernstein Liz and John Bokram Michael Bourke Andrea and Chris Bryan Lee and Keith Bryant Pamela Brylski Lawrence and Marla Butler Sheena Cameron-Smith and Mike Kapsa Michael Joseph Carron Robert and Miriam Caslow David and Katherin Chase Stan and Judy Clauson Elliot and Cyd Cohn Marcia Corbin Jaqueline Kaplan and Chad Clark Heather and Kris Kaplinski Pat Damoorgian Mary Dominick and Sven Coomer Bruce and Jaren Ducker Kristin Ericson Sandra Eskin Mary Joan Farver Boots Ferguson and Carolyn Miller James Finch Nanette B. Finger The Fink Family Sara F. Finkle Sara Fitzmaurice Barbara and Ed Foran Edmund Frank Kristina Fraser

Marc and Karen Friedberg Katy and Adam Frisch Andrew Gibas Alyson and Justin Gish Joanna Golden Denise and Andy Goldfarb Arthur Greenberg Jane and Allen Grossman Lisa and Bill Guth Jody Guralnick and Michael Lipkin Matthew and Jennifer Hamilton Scott and Lynn Hannah Christie Hefner Michelle Hendry Kristen Henry Galen and Rom Hirss  )EZMHERH7YXL-SǺ Louise and Phil Hoversten Janis and George Huggins  /IǺIVWSRERH0EVIR-YKLIW Barbara Reid and David Hyman Margaret Idema Chonnie and Paul Jacobson Daniel Johnson Warren and Kathleen Jones Denise Jurgens and Kevin Messerschmidt Sandy and George Kahle Stephen and Patricia Kanipe Nancy and Mitch Kantor Sheila King Valerie Kinkade and Kevin Grant Elizabeth Klump Anne Kerr L’Heureux - and Matthew L’Heureux Leslie Lamont and Lance Luckett Tania Landauer Chris and Diana Lane Ethel and Allen Levantin Susan and Larry Marx Jacqui Matthews Liza and John Mauck Heidi McGuire  LIVV]ERH,IVEPH2IVǻWL

James and Patricia Morris Ellen-Jane and Ben Moss Ann Mullins Constance Hoguet Neel and Richard Neel John Neil Chris and Vanessa O’Connor Barbara Page and John Liu Andrew Pargellis and Sandi Nash Michelle and Michael Payne Frank Peters and Marjory Musgrave Avilla Peterson Brooke A. Peterson - and Carol Hood Peterson  )EZMH5SVXIVǻIPHERH0EVIR-IVVPMRK Ben Pritzker Susan and Kenneth Quintenz Robert and Myra Rich Elaine and Marvin Rosenberg Jay and Linda Sandrich Shereen and Jordan Sarick Susan and Ford Schumann Jerome and Darlene Schwoerer Jeannie and John Seybold Richard and Sarah Shaw Terri and Rich Slivka Eleanor W. Spence Maile and Carson Spung Bruce and Nancy Stevens  (PMǺSVHERH3EXEWLEXS[I Stephen and Ellen Susman Patricia Tisch Mary Ann and Ray Tittle Anne and Mark Uhlfelder Jessica and Tejay van Garderen Tim and Beverly Leigh Elizabeth Weaver and Michael Marek Melanie Weinrot Dawn Welles Susan Welsch Carlotta and Wendell Willke Charles and Barbara Winton  Y^ERRI;SPǺERH,EV]8IRRIRFEYQ Jennifer Woodward

Community: Staff & Partners Administrative Staff:

(Starting with back row, left to right) (LVMW1ERI(LMIJ*\IGYXMZI4ǽGIV Jim Kravitz, Naturalist Programs Director Adam McCurdy, Forest Programs Director Grayson Bauer, Hallam Lake Site & Programs Coordinator Derek Ferguson, Education Coordinator Bowman Leigh, Marketing Manager Phebe Meyers, Naturalist Field School Manager Jason Smith, Rock Bottom Ranch Director Christy Mahon, Development Director Katie Schwoerer, Finance & Operations Director Ali Hager, Events & Development Coordinator Alyssa Barsanti, Agriculture Manager Emily Taylor, Development Manager ACES will forever miss our former Education Director, Arin Trook, who passed away in January 2018. We will all strive to carry forward Arin’s work to build community and inclusivity across boundaries through education and kindness. Annual Report 2019


Partners ACCESS Roaring Fork Adams State College AJAX Sleepaway The Art Base Ashcroft Ski Touring Aspen Art Museum Aspen Center for Physics Aspen Community Foundation Aspen Education Foundation Aspen Fire Aspen Elementary School Aspen Global Change Institute Aspen Historical Society Aspen Public Radio Aspen School District Aspen Science Center Aspen Skiing Company The Aspen Times Glenwood Springs Post Independent Aspen Valley Land Trust Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club Basalt Education Foundation Basalt Elementary School Cactus Valley Elementary School Cap K Ranch Citizens Climate Lobby City of Aspen City of Aspen Parks & Open Space City of Aspen Environmental Health Clean Rivers Initiative CO Alliance for Environmental Education CO Department of Education CO Mountain College CO Outward Bound School CO Parks and Wildlife CO State Forest Service CO State University (SQQYRMX]4ǽGIJSV7IWSYVGI*ǽGMIRG] Crystal River Elementary School CU Succeed Program


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Elk Creek Elementary School *ZIV,VIIR>IVS;EWXI Farm Collaborative Fat City Farmers The Forest Conservancy ,EVǻIPH(SYRX]4YXHSSVW Great Outdoors Colorado Glenwood Springs Post Independent Holy Cross Energy Indivisible Aspen Kathryn Senor Elementary School Kid’s First The Little Nell The Nature Conservancy Pitkin County Pitkin County Healthy Rivers & Streams Pitkin County Open Space & Trails Protect Our Winters Roaring Fork Anglers Roaring Fork Audubon Roaring Fork Conservancy Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers Roaring Fork Transit Authority Rotary Club of Aspen Spradley Farms Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center Snowmass Tourism Town of Snowmass Village U.S. Forest Service U.S.F.S. White River National Forest University of Arizona University of Colorado Upper CO River Interagency Fire Management Unit WE-cycle Western Colorado University Wilderness Workshop


&RRYEPVITSVXTLSXSWGSYVXIW]SJ&(*WXEǺ Aspen Historical Society’s Cassatt Collection (located on page 18), and Olive & West Photography.

Where We Work Eagle

Glenwood Springs

Carbondale Basalt ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch

Aspen ACES at Hallam Lake ACES at The Catto Center Tolkat

Marble 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 Castle Creek Valley Cathedral Lake Catto Center at Toklat Crater Lake Early Learning Center East of Aspen Ashcroft Ghost Town Hallam Lake Hunter Creek Maroon Lake Mt. Tots Preschool North Star Nature Preserve Red Butte 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

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

Garfield County

Brush Creek 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 Cactus Valley 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

Other Colorado Parks & Wildlife (Denver) University of Denver Great Sand Dunes National Park Logan School Meeker High School Mesa County Mount Princeton Ridgway State Park Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Profile for Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

2019 Annual Report  

2019 Annual Report