Walking Mountains breaks ground on new Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability | VailDaily.com

Walking Mountains breaks ground on new Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability

Walking Mountains Science Center will reach more than 100,000 people this year, and the waiting list for local school kids regularly tops 1,000.

That's just one reason the Walking Mountains folks were thrilled to break ground on their Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability, named to honor two long-time local families who have supported Walking Mountains since its inception two decades ago.

It's all part of a $10 million campaign to expand facilities, staff and programs.

"This is a pivotal day in Walking Mountains' history, and we are truly thrilled to embark on this expansion to address the growing needs in the community," said Markian Feduschak, president of Walking Mountains. "We're grateful for the community support and particularly the extraordinary generosity of the Borgen and Precourt families to bring this dream to reality."

The Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability is across Walking Mountains Lane from the Tang Campus. The new classroom and staff office building will help Walking Mountains meet the growing demand for its school and community programs focused on inspiring environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education, Feduschak said.

It's great so far, but they still need to raise more money to finish the building, Feduschak said.

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The board of directors decided to get started on the building, while continuing to raise more money.

"We know construction costs continue to rise. A delay might have put the cost out of reach," Feduschak said.

A stroll in the forest

Kim Langmaid started Walking Mountains in Red Cliff two decades ago. After that, it moved to a space above Pazzo's Pizza in Avon. Nature and science lessons meant taking a stroll up a local trail. If it rained, then the students got wet.

These days, Walking Mountains teaches green behavior to businesses and runs seminars and gatherings about sustainability and other science and environment groups.

They're expanding because they really do need the room and because the community keeps asking them to do more.

For example, Walking Mountains is implementing Eagle County's climate action plan and helped facilitate creating it. Event promoters hire Walking Mountains to help make their events zero waste. The list of requests is much longer than the resources to fulfill them.

The next step

Hundreds of Eagle Valley students were wait-listed last year to attend Walking Mountains Science Center's programs. That's why they need more classroom and staff support space, Feduschak said.

The Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability will provide both. It's the next step in Walking Mountains' strategic plan to strengthen its programming. Future plans include employee housing and developing its 240-acre property along Sweetwater Creek north of Gypsum.

Walking Mountains has been recognized by the international Global Sustainable Tourism Council for its business certification program, Actively Green; helping the town of Vail pursue its Sustainable Destination status; and facilitating Eagle County's climate action collaborative.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

About Walking Mountains Science Center

Walking Mountains Science Center’s mission is to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education. Visit http://www.walkingmountains.org or call 970-827-9725 for more information.