Thank you to everyone who contributed and attended the 2019 GARNA Nurturing Nature Gala! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Nearly 160 people were able to attend at the Barn at Sunset Ranch, west of Buena Vista, on the evening of July 7 to celebrate education and outreach about our valley’s natural resources, to hear about upcoming projects to steward those resources, to honor Alan Robinson with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his hard work and dedication to the public lands of the Upper Arkansas Valley, and to hear from Florence Williams, award winning author of “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative.

You made GARNA’s Nurturing Nature Gala a rousing success! The food, drinks, music, speakers and company were amazing, and over $33,000 was raised to support GARNA’s important work from Leadville to Canon City. GARNA extends special thanks to corporate sponsor Climax/Freeport-McMoRan, plus local businesses who supported GARNA with donations, auction items and services, and everyone who donated and/or attended, including generous and loyal supporters, friends and volunteers.

Thanks to you, a newcomer to the valley will be thrilled to identify a red tail hawk, and meet kindred spirits who share a love of birding or hiking. Thanks to you, a nine-year-old will go from “ick” to “wow” looking closely at a mayfly. Because of your support, the throngs of new residents and visitors to the Upper Arkansas River Valley may be more likely to identify a wildflower than create an erosion gully by shortcutting a trail.

Your donations enable GARNA to bring knowledgeable and inspiring speakers to our community. Through GARNA, you support responsible use, appreciation, conservation and recreation in a way that future generations will applaud. Thanks to you, GARNA is able to expand its reach so that all can responsibly participate in the opportunities we enjoy.

Thanks to the generous support of the community, GARNA will move forward with expanding education outreach to encourage responsible recreation through new and existing programs, such as our Youth Ecological Literacy Program. Your support enables GARNA to maintain and expand the high-quality, place-based youth programs for students in collaboration with school districts and other non-profits, and provide a variety of nature-based out-of-school activities, at little or no cost to the participant.

With your help, GARNA brings a diverse set of community-focused educational opportunities to our Valley. GARNA manages clubs and chapters that inspire and create positive change. GARNA has been a catalyst for the development of new programs that are critical to our changing times, including working with Get Outdoors Leadville! to increase youth access to the outdoors.

GARNA staff, board, membership and all those we serve thank you for being part of a legacy that works to inspire the growing number of people who live, play and work in the Upper Arkansas River Valley to protect our public lands for the benefit of future generations.

Dominique Naccarato

Executive Director

Greater Arkansas River Nature Association

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