Walking Mountains Science Center’s Kim Langmaid honored with Reach for the Peak Award | VailDaily.com

Walking Mountains Science Center’s Kim Langmaid honored with Reach for the Peak Award

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society

On Tuesday, July 10, Walking Mountains Science Center held its annual gala under the stars to celebrate its 20 anniversary and honor local Kim Langmaid with the much deserved Reach for the Peak Award.

I met Langmaid many years ago when we both worked as environmental educators with the Vail Recreation District. She set out to earn her master's degree from Prescott College and worked with the Teton Science School. She came back to the valley knowing that she wanted to start a science school in her own "backyard" amidst the forests, meadows, mountains and creeks.

Flash forward several years later, Kim was working hard to create her vision and follow through on her dream.

The annual A Taste of Nature gala was full of accolades for Langmaid on accomplishing this life passion with a tenacious and good spirit. Along the way, she earned a doctorate of philosophy in environmental studies as well.

President of Walking Mountains, Markian Feduschak said, "Kim is our founder; a visionary whose ideas propelled us into becoming leaders of science education, and environmental stewardship well beyond our local community," said Markian Feduschak, president of Walking Mountains.

Langmaid's sustainability initiatives have made a significant difference locally and have been noticed globally.

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'These are the leaders'

Mike Brown, president of Alpine Bank, the lead corporate sponsor for A Taste of Nature, presented the 2018 Founder's Stewardship Award to CEO Rob Katz on behalf of Vail Resorts in acknowledgment of their devoted support of Walking Mountains' mission, ambitious sustainability goals and commitment to the community. Katz was honored to accept the award on behalf of the 38,000 people that work at Vail Resorts and emphasized the achievement of receiving the status of Sustainable Travel Destination Certification for Vail.

"Really affecting change on a global basis … requires more than just our company doing the right thing. It requires us educating and engaging a broad group of people," Katz said. "And, that speaks to what Walking Mountains is all about. It is actually bringing new people in to the fight to protect the environment. These are the leaders that will actually be doing the work as we go forward to protecting our planet. And that is why, for us this is a very special and very critical effort that Walking Mountains undertakes."

Katz also gave praise to Langmaid: "Kim, you are an incredibly inspirational leader — none of us, none of this, would be here without you. This is one of the most thoughtful, most constructive, most productive partnerships that we have in any community and my hat is off, honestly, to you Kim and to everyone here at Walking Mountains."

'Soul of our Valley'

A highlight of the evening was the announcement that Gov. John Hickenlooper has proclaimed July 10, 2018, as Kim Langmaid Environmental Education Day for her work as a role model, mentor, community developer and thought leader.

Oscar Tang shared a stirring speech honoring Langmaid as well.

"Through her actions and not through preaching, she has taught me, and I think all of us, that the life lived where we return as much or more as we take, is a more joyful life," Tang said. "In this way, Kim has become an important part of the soul of our valley."

Langmaid accepted the Reach for the Peak Award and thanked attendees, board members, sponsors, chairpersons, co-workers, donors and partners, her husband and her family who has always encouraged her to "follow her bliss."

"You have helped Walking Mountains exceed my original vision and expectations. … We will work hard to ensure that environmental education becomes a part of every child's life."

For more information on the mission of Walking Mountains Science Center, programs and ways to support, visit walking mountains.org.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at bettyannw6@gmail.com.

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As a nonprofit learning center, Walking Mountains Science Center offers innovative school programs, summer youth science camps, adult seminars and year-round interpretive programs designed to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education. For more information, visit http://www.walkingmountains.org and follow them on social media.