Walking Mountains celebration debuts new eco-friendly building | VailDaily.com

Walking Mountains celebration debuts new eco-friendly building

Carolyn Pope
High Altitude Society
Colleen and Dave Reitan, Susan Rogel and Markian Feduschak enjoy the celebration.
Special to the Daily

June 19 was a blue-ribbon day, or perhaps better stated, a green-ribbon day for Walking Mountains Science Center, as it celebrated the opening of the Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability.

The Precourt and Borgen families have been longtime supporters of Walking Mountains since it opened 20 years ago.

“Amanda and I are honored to be able to co-underwrite the new Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability at Walking Mountains,” Jay Precourt said. “This center fits in perfectly with our family’s philanthropic interests to ensure people of all ages have the education and resources not only to become environmental stewards but also avid promoters of sustainability in our Vail-Eagle Valley. Walking Mountains has done a tremendous job for over 20 years, and this building adds to the capacity they need to expand their impact even more.”

Nearly 70 guests attended the celebration, which was intended for donors of all levels to celebrate with Walking Mountains. As guests arrived, they were greeted with glasses of champagne to toast the new building. Tours showed guests around the new indoor and outdoor spaces.

The new classroom and staff office building will help Walking Mountains meet the ever-growing demand for its community programs, which focus on inspiring environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education.

Recent sustainability accomplishments include the recognition by the international Global Sustainable Tourism Council of its business certification program, Actively Green; helping the town of Vail pursue its sustainable destination status; and facilitating the countywide Climate Action Collaborative.

The Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability utilizes rooftop solar, electricity demand controls, an all-electrical mechanical system and has an optimized building envelope. The new building can become net zero soon and is, like the rest of the campus, on track for LEED certification.

“We are truly thrilled to continue this expansion to address the growing needs of the community. We’re grateful for the community support and particularly the extraordinary generosity of the Borgen and Precourt families to bring this dream to reality,” said Markian Feduschak, president of Walking Mountains Science Center.

Future plans include adding employee housing and developing a recently acquired 240-acre property along Sweetwater Creek in Gypsum. The Sweetwater campus will provide better access for downvalley residents.

Walking Mountains Science Center can expand because strong partnerships and the wonderful generosity of its supporters. Although the Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability is now open, opportunities to support the project and continued expansion remain available and are necessary. Contact Patty White, vice president of development, at pattyw@walkingmountains.org or 970-688-4164 for donor and support opportunities.