Vail Daily’s View: Walking Mountains breaks ground on something bigger than mere campus |

Vail Daily’s View: Walking Mountains breaks ground on something bigger than mere campus

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail, CO, Colorado

Vail’s Alan Danson sees the groundbreaking today for the Walking Mountain science center’s campus as bigger than it might appear. Much bigger.

Of course, he may not be an entirely unbiased observer of the formerly named Gore Range Natural Science School’s activities. He’s been a board member since 2001 and served a term as board president.

That doesn’t make him wrong, either.

Basically, he views the donation of 5 acres on Avon’s Buck Creek by Oscar Tang and the learning center that will built there along the same lines as the birth of the Aspen Institute’s meteoric rise to in some ways define Aspen itself. The donation of land in the center of town by the Paepkes had much to do with the institute putting Aspen on the map.

Sure, the institute’s programs themselves had a little something to do with ultimate success in attracting the world’s intellectual giants, too.

But we take Danson’s point that the learning center a couple of minutes north of downtown Avon can start similar momentum to help make this a cradle of environmental excellence that becomes well known outside our little valley, much like the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek and Ford Amphitheater in Vail have done for culture. And maybe more. Hence, the musings about the Aspen Institute.

Walking Mountains was the brainchild of lifelong Vail resident Kim Langmaid in 1998. The school was based in the old Red Cliff schoolhouse and then offices in Avon and soon enough will have its beautiful campus.

Interestingly enough, Walking Mountains was the original idea for the science school’s name and has come full circle as the center shifts gears.

The then-named Gore Range Natural Science School grew to become well established in environmental education and especially its programs in the schools.

The physical campus opens a whole new range of opportunities for the center and for the larger community if this move means what Danson and we think it may.

So congratulations to Walking Mountains reaching this point. It took a lot of inspiration, imagination and good old-fashioned hard work.

For the center, it’s a new home, a new name and a whole new world of possibility.

Vail Daily Editorial Board

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