Walking Mountains gala raises funds for sustainability education
A Taste of Nature event honors Shawn Bruckman and the Frechette Family Foundation
On Aug. 5, Walking Mountains Science Center kicked off the 10th anniversary of its Tang Campus in Avon at its annual fundraising gala, A Taste of Nature. The campus was in stunning form showcasing vibrant wildflowers and garden beds as well as the premiere of the Eagle Valley Wild outdoor photography exhibition by Todd Winslow Pierce.
The event raised significant funds in support of natural science and sustainability education — notably for Walking Mountains’ field science programs, which are now offered for free to all Eagle County Public Schools students.
The festivities included the presentation of two annual awards. The Founder’s Stewardship award recipient was Shawn Bruckman, a star in the sustainability community whose efforts in soil health led to the creation of Honeywagon Organics and board seats with the Eagle County Conservation District, New Roots Co, and Recycle Colorado’s Composting Council as well the creation of her own company, The Ground Up.
Mike Brown, regional president of Alpine Bank, and Melissa Kirr, senior programs director of sustainability at Walking Mountains, presented the award while Bruckman’s husband, parents, Honeywagon colleagues and everyone in attendance cheered her on.
Later in the evening, Kim Langmaid and Markian Feduschak, the founder and the president of Walking Mountains, respectively, presented The Reach for the Peak award to the Frechette Family Foundation in recognition of its support of the community and the continuation of the legacy of its founders Pete and Pat Frechette — particularly their belief in the power of science education to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.
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“The Frechette Family has played an essential role in establishing and expanding this campus and our programs,” said Feduschak in his remarks. “In a similar way, they’ve played an essential role for so many nonprofits in the Eagle Valley, in Minneapolis and beyond.”
In a video tribute, Oscar Tang shared that “they really sought out those projects that would be beneficial to the community.” The impact of their visionary philanthropy is evident not only in the places that bear the family name, but more importantly in lives that are transformed every day by the work that happens in those places. As Kathy Tenhula articulated at the ribbon cutting of the Pete & Pat Frechette Educator Community at Walking Mountains in summer 2020, “The ripple effects are endless.”
The gala also marked the premiere of Eagle Valley Wild by Todd Winslow Pierce. The outdoor photography exhibition features 15 large-format outdoor photographs of the land, water and wildlife of Eagle County, encouraging conversations about conservation. The exhibition is free to the public thanks to sponsorship from Photobucket, Gail and Jay Mahoney, and Laura Tumperi, and will remain on display until Oct. 31.
For more information on the mission of Walking Mountains Science Center, programs and ways to support, visit WalkingMountains.org.