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Conservation Awards
Barrett Property Sunset

Conservation Awards

Boulder County honors individuals or groups with its Conservation Awards for outstanding contributions made to the conservation, preservation, and protection of land-based environmental resources.

Now Accepting Nominations for 2024 Conservation Awards

Anyone may nominate individuals, families, or organizations that have made outstanding contributions in Boulder County in Land Conservation, Environmental Stewardship, Community Connections, or Cultural and Historic Preservation.

Special consideration will be given to activities that particularly affect unincorporated Boulder County and demonstrate ongoing effort. One-time efforts resulting in lasting benefits to the county’s environmental or cultural landscape will also be favored for selection. Other award selection criteria include activities that are a model for others or that increase public awareness.

People may not nominate themselves nor are they permitted to nominate organizations of which they are an officer or director. Official projects of federal, state, county, special district, and municipal government agencies are not eligible to be nominated. The project or transfer of land must have been completed within the last five years. Projects or bodies of work that have already received a Conservation Award are not eligible.

Nominations are due Friday, June 14.

Submit A Nomination

Please note that Outstanding Volunteer Awards are nominated and selected by staff volunteer coordinators and are not part of this nomination process.

2024 Conservation Awards

The Boulder County Commissioners and Parks & Open Space staff will present their annual Conservation Awards on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Sept. 18 at 3 p.m.
Boulder County Parks & Open Space Building
5201 St. Vrain Rd., Longmont

Previous Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2023 Land Conservation Award winners. The ceremony was held on Sept. 27, 2023.

Award recipients holding their plaques. From left to right: Parks & Open Space Director Therese Glowacki, Anne Janicki, Brian Hepp, Emma Rooney, President of The Boulder and White Rock Ditch and Reservoir Company Jules Van Thuyne, Dave Millhiser, Keith Owen, and Commissioner Claire Levy

Land Conservation Award
The Boulder and White Rock Ditch and Reservoir Company

Panama Reservoir with with a snow capped mountain in the distance

In April 2023, the Boulder and White Rock Ditch and Reservoir Company donated a conservation easement over the 403-acre Panama Reservoir to Wetlands America Trust, Inc., the land trust of Ducks Unlimited. The Panama Reservoir has been operated as a reservoir, with associated ditches and canals, for over 100 years. Along with its surrounding wetlands drainages and natural areas, it contributes to the ecological viability of nearby protected lands. This habitat has been designated as critical wildlife habitat and is also part of the East County Environmental Conservation Area in Boulder County’s Comprehensive Plan. Its continued existence and operation are integral to preserving the significant conservation values described above. This conservation easement donation ensures that this exceptional scenic area and critical wildlife habitat will be permanently protected from future development.

Environmental Stewardship Award
Keith Owen

Cows grazing in a pasture with mountains in the distance.

Mr. Owen is honored for his outstanding efforts to restore a tree nursery on his private land to native grassland. His efforts include the implementation of rotational grazing, expanding wildlife habitat on his property, and holding conservation education events on his land for members of the community. The property is protected by a Boulder County Conservation Easement. This award recognizes the vision that Keith and his late wife Jan had for restoring the land after years of agricultural use, his ongoing excellence of his stewardship efforts to provide a rich wildlife habitat connection to surrounding protected lands, and his example of a successful, local restoration effort in Boulder County. As a result of this work, wildlife presence has steadily increased with the availability of food, shelter, and space, including wild turkeys, black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, great horned owls, barn owls, rabbits, other small mammals, and a multitude of songbirds.

Environmental Stewardship Award
The Hepp and Rooney Families

Small container filled with water and approximately 25 baby redbelly dace fish.

The Hepp family and the Rooney family have both given permission to allow the Northern Redbelly Dace Recovery Project to release these rare native Colorado fish back into the environment on their private properties. Multiple St. Vrain Valley students across a range of cultural backgrounds and communities have been engaged in environmental monitoring of both the fish and the pond habitats on these properties. The project started in 2019 in partnership with Boulder County Parks & Open Space, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, St. Vrain Valley School District Innovation Center, Denver Zoo, University of Colorado Boulder, and Ocean First Institute. Students raised and released redbelly dace into Rooney Pond in September 2020, and into Hepp Pond during July 2022. These families have provided invaluable contributions to environmental stewardship and outstanding educational opportunities for local students. Students, teachers, and county and state biologists continue to visit these family ponds to monitor the health and habitat of these “Tier 1 Species of Greatest Conservation Need” fish in Colorado.

Hepp family members: Brian Hepp, James Hepp (posthumously), Gayle Hepp, Patty Alexander, Laura Schechter.
Rooney family members: Matt Rooney, Emma Rooney, Andy Torres.

Outstanding Volunteer Award
Anne Janicki

Anne Janicki

Anne has contributed to CSU Extension and Boulder County 4-H for 13 years as a parent, then volunteer. She has been the 4-H Dog Superintendent, 4-H Adult Advisory Council President, 4-H Dog Advisory Council President, 4-H Carnival Committee member, State 4-H Dog Committee Representative, and frequent Fair volunteer. Her 4-H club takes on leadership of community service projects as well as helps all kids who come to the program. 4-H is an organization focused on growing strong leaders for our future by helping our youth develop confidence, independence, leadership and real-life skills.

Outstanding Volunteer Award
Dave Millhiser

Dave Milhiser

Dave Millhiser is a retired mechanical engineer and one of the longest serving volunteers at Parks & Open Space. He began volunteering at the Nederland Mining Museum in 2019 and has accrued over 300 hours of volunteer time since then. His career background, education, and interpretive ability enhance the Nederland Mining Museum experience for museum visitors. He is approachable, communicative, and genial. In addition to the assigned duties of a Museum Guide, at his own initiative, he has maintained and lubricated several working artifacts, preserving those items for the benefit of future visitors. Dave imparts visitors with a piece of fascinating knowledge they did not have when they first entered the museum. He continues to inspire, by example, other volunteers, staff, and visitors alike.

Congratulations to the 2022 Land Conservation Award winners. The ceremony was held on Oct. 6, 2022, at the Beech Open Space Shelter.

Conservation Award winners standing with the Commissioners showing their plaques

Top row: Marlon and Claudia Meza, and son David. Bottom row left to right: Commissioner Marta Loachamin, Becca Gan Levy, Marina LaGrave, Peggy Sass, Dorotha Ekx, Lorraine Stromquist, Charlie Stromquist, Commissioner Matt Jones, Commissioner, Claire Levy, Therese Glowacki

Land Conservation Award
Charlie Stromquist, Dorotha Ekx & Lorraine Stromquist

Stromquist Farm

The Stromquist family has been farming in Boulder County for more than 100 years. The family helped jump start Boulder County’s open space program by selling conservation easements to the county to keep their Stromquist Farms land and irrigation water in agricultural production. They recently sold the former Laber property to the county so that it could be farmed in one piece with the rest of the land between N. 119th Street and East County Line Road, from Oxford Road north.

Environmental Stewardship Award
Becca Gan Levy

Becca Gan Levy

Becca Gan Levy is the Director of Boulder JCC’s Milk & Honey Farm. In addition to providing an experiential education resource to involve the community, families, and children in agriculture, the farm also donates thousands of fresh pounds food to organizations to address food security needs. Becca manages an intensive agriculture system on a small parcel of land. She recruits and oversees a community volunteer workforce to overcome staffing challenges. She also uses low-water and no-till methods to align her farming practices with the dry Colorado ecosystem and to promote native pollinators.

Cultural & Historic Preservation Award
Marina LaGrave

Explorando Senderos de Boulder

Marina helped start Explorando Senderos de Boulder, a group that organizes trail and outdoor experiences for Latinx families. These experiences have brought participants closer to nature, while promoting physical and mental well-being. Started in December of 2020, Explorando Senderos has explored a new trail (sendero) every month. From a modest start of 10 or 12 families, it has grown significantly and has over a thousand members on their Facebook Group. With Spanish as the main language, the program hopes to help, support, and encourage Latinx families to seek out the outdoors and reconnect with nature—and themselves.

Outstanding Volunteer Award
Peggy Sass

Peggy Sass

Peggy has been a volunteer at the Agricultural Heritage Center for five years. Peggy has taken on more responsibility with planning, planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting the garden all while coordinating efforts with other volunteers. This year alone, Peggy has been to the center everyday, hand watering and weeding since she planted cool weather crops in April. Peggy also does one to three livestock feeding shifts per week, and occasionally greets and orients visitors on open days when staffing is short, not to mention special events and random projects. Peggy does all these things tirelessly and with a smile on her face. Her generosity is endless. In her time with Boulder County, Peggy has truly become a “renaissance volunteer,” having her hands and sharing her skills in countless areas!

Congratulations to the Land Conservation Award winners. The ceremony honoring the 2020 and 2021 winners was held on Oct. 6, 2021, at the Beech Open Space Shelter.

Land Conservation Award Winners

From left to right: Therese Glowacki, Wesley Black Elk, Marty Chase Alone, Margaret Geick, Jean Moore, Gedeon Lafarge, Rob Alexander, Elizabeth Kellogg, Matt Jones, Jan Chu, Lowell Dodge, Diane Dodge, and Marta Loachamin

Land Conservation Award
Margaret Geick and Jean Moore

Tucker Property

Because of the strong desire of Margaret and Jean to preserve their 324 acres of lands in the Indian Peaks Environmental Conservation Area, Boulder County now owns this incredibly resource-rich property just west of Nederland. The property contains the North Beaver Creek B3 high biodiversity area, critical wildlife habitat, riparian and wetland areas, significant natural communities, and is surrounded by 755 acres of protected and preserved lands, resulting in a continuous area of over 1,000 acres.

Environmental Stewardship Award
Jan Chu

Jan Chu

Through her many decades of teaching, researching, and advocating for the natural environment, Jan has been instrumental in increasing knowledge about and appreciation for butterflies and their integral role in ecosystem function. She has created and fostered a network of naturalists throughout Boulder County and the northern Front Range who are engaged in studying butterflies and protecting their habitats.

Cultural & Historic Preservation Award
Indian Mountain Native American Veterans

Marty Chase Alone

Under the guidance and leadership of Wesley Black Elk and Marty Chase Alone the group has reestablished the Inipi Ceremony (purification sweat lodge) on the Southdown Indian Mountain property. The ceremonies performed by Wesley and Marty have provided important community gathering and spiritual healing for veterans and other people who are suffering from the effects of combat, military service, and other life-altering events. The ceremonies have also created a significant connection to land-based experiences for Native Americans in the Boulder and Denver areas.

Outstanding Volunteer Award
Elizabeth Kellogg

Liz Kellog

Liz has been volunteering with Boulder County Parks & Open Space, as well as many other land management organizations located in, and outside of, Boulder County since approximately 2005, and her passion continues to blossom with every growing season. Liz has contributed a total of about 1,590 volunteer hours to Boulder County programs, including: Seed Collection Scouts, Seed Collection Crew Leaders, Willow Monitoring, Milkweed Monitoring, Restoration Plant Monitoring, and the Peck Native Seed Garden Stewards.

Outstanding Volunteer Award
Anne Cure

Anne Cure

Ann is a long-time supporter of the Boulder County CSU Extension agriculture program. She is a leader among market farmers in Colorado and is sought out for engagement in national Slow Food events. Ann has served as a board member for the Colorado Organic Producers Association and the Boulder County Farmers Markets. She owns Cure Organic Farm in Boulder and provided access to her farm for nine years to allow CSU Extension to collect data on irrigation water use for a long-term research project.

Congratulations to the Land Conservation Award winners. The ceremony honoring the 2020 and 2021 winners was held on Oct. 6, 2021, at the Beech Open Space Shelter.

Land Conservation Award
Paul Lev-Ary

Anne U. White Trailhead

Paul Lev-Ary donated approximately two acres of land to Boulder County to help to increase the number of parking spaces from five to 29 spaces at the Anne U. White trailhead after it was demolished in the floods of September 2013. His donation greatly increased public access to the area, allowing for a much better user experience.

Environmental Stewardship Award
Lowell and Diane Dodge

Diane and Lowell Dodge

After completing construction of their single-family home on their 40-acre property just northwest of Hygiene, the Dodges promptly restored the land around the construction site and then implemented an ecological enhancement plan. A portion of their property was originally placed under a conservation easement in 1982, and the remainder of the land was conserved in 2013. The goal of the ecological enhancement plan is to preserve the existing ecological wildlife habitats, create new habitats, and improve the overall ecological functions and diversity on their property. They continue to be involved in increasing public awareness about the local and greater-ecosystem benefits of enhancing pollinator habitat on one’s own property.

Volunteer Award – Education & Outreach
Gedeon Lafarge

Gedeon LaFarge

Since the fall of 2015, Gedeon has been a program mentor with the Left Hand Outdoor Challenge, a program that aims to inspire the next generation of stewards of Boulder County. Gedeon plays a crucial role in the program by helping to keep the participants focused and engaged, while also having fun. He has mentored over 100 teen program participants over the past five years and has also been a member of the Volunteer Ranger Corps. Gedeon embodies “the giver” in all he does.

Volunteer Award – CSU Extension
Rob Alexander

Rob Alexander

Rob has contributed to CSU Extension for well over 20 years as a member of the Extension Advisory Board, a volunteer for 4-H, and contributor to numerous Extension workshops and events. He has also served as a presenter/trainer for our Small Acreage Management program, training volunteers on seeding/reseeding pastures, grazing management, and agriculture programs. He recently agreed to take on the co-chair role of the Extension Advisory Board. His knowledge and experience in Boulder County agriculture is unparalleled, and the county has benefited greatly from his dedication to land conservation, his willingness to lead when called upon, and his consistently agreeable nature.

2023

  • The Boulder and White Rock Ditch and Reservoir Company, Land Conservation Award
  • Keith Owen, Environmental Stewardship Award
  • The Hepp and Rooney Families, Environmental Stewardship Award
  • Anne Janicki, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Dave Millhiser, Outstanding Volunteer Award

2022

  • Charlie Stromquist, Dorotha Ekx & Lorraine Stromquist, Land Conservation Award
  • Becca Gan Levy, Environmental Stewardship
  • Marina LaGrave, Cultural & Historic Preservation Award
  • Peggy Sass, Outstanding Volunteer Award

2021

  • Margaret Geick and Jean Moore, Land Conservation Award
  • Jan Chu, Environmental Stewardship
  • Indian Mountain Native American Veterans, Cultural & Historic Preservation Award
  • Elizabeth Kellogg, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Anne Cure, Outstanding Volunteer Award

2020

  • Paul Lev-Ary, Land Conservation Award
  • Lowell and Diane Dodge, Environmental Stewardship
  • Gedeon Lafarge, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Rob Alexander, Outstanding Volunteer Award

2019

  • Elizabeth Black , Land Conservation Award
  • Janet George, Environmental Stewardship
  • Betty Musfeldt, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Claudia Thiem, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Kathleen Andres, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Crocs, Partnership Award

2018

  • Helen McCarty, Land Conservation Award
  • Roger Myers, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Melanie Bohren, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Defenders of Wildlife, Partnership Award

2017

  • Ron Stewart, Land Conservation Award
  • Carron Meaney, Environmental Stewardship Award
  • Michelle Wieber and Eric Stevens, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Melinda and Lauren Courtman, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Cynthia Baker, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Singletrack Mountain Bike Adventures, Partnership Award

2016

  • The Toll Family and The Conservation Fund, Land Conservation Award
  • Jim McKee, Environmental Stewardship Award
  • Jules Van Thuyne, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Blair Smallwood, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Linda Garcia, Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • CU – Program for Writing and Rhetoric, Partnership Award

2015

  • PLAN-Boulder County, Land Conservation Award
  • Sue Cass, Environmental Stewardship
  • Rob and Liz Alexander, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Todd Van Dyke, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Annie Conry, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Sherrie Rasmussen, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Redstone Cyclery, Partnership Award

2014

  • Rich Koopmann, Land Conservation Award
  • Dave Hallock, Environmental Stewardship
  • Lexie Spencer Armitage, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Art Roberts, Outstanding Volunteer
  • DeAnna Cassidy, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Level 3 Communications, Partnership Award

2013

  • Keith Bateman, Land Conservation Award
  • George and Marti Oetzel, Environmental Stewardship
  • The Little Church in the Pines Board, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Megan Bowes, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Joyce Costello, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Geocaching Colorado, Partnership Award

2012

  • Jan Burns, Land Conservation Award
  • Steve Jones, Environmental Stewardship
  • Skip and Marva DeFalco, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • David Davia, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Kathie Kennedy, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Barb Kirchner, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Alan Carpenter, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Amgen, Partnership Award

2010

  • Ruth Almquist, Land Conservation Award
  • Wildland Restoration Volunteers, Environmental Stewardship
  • Scott Bruntjen & Carol Rinderknecht, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Jenn Archuleta, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Clare Shier, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Smartwool, Partnership Award

2009

  • Luke Stromquist, Land Conservation Award
  • Boulder Flycasters, Environmental Stewardship Award
  • Left Hand Grange, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Katherine Young, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Dianne Marshall, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Boulder Mountainbike Alliance, Partnership Award

2008

  • Craig Sterkel, Land Conservation Award
  • Ben Turner, Environmental Stewardship Award
  • June Peterson Howard, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Tina Pohlmann, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Diane Karash, Outstanding Volunteer

2007

  • Van Thuyne Family, Land Conservation Award
  • Sigrid Ueblacker, Environmental Stewardship Award
  • Alan Villavicencio, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Ann Cooper, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Clarence Kneebone, Outstanding Volunteer

2006

  • Robinson/Moore Family, Land Conservation Award
  • Dr. Oakleigh Thorne, II, Environmental Stewardship Award
  • Merrie and Jeff Wycoff, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Anne Q. Dyni, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Sharon Bokan, Outstanding Volunteer

2005

  • LaVerne Krueger, Land Conservation Award
  • Cal-Wood Education Center, Environmental Stewardship Award
  • John Mayhoffer, Heritage Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation
  • Jim McKee, Outstanding Volunteer
  • Christina Kertesz, Outstanding Volunteer

2003

  • Sandy Cruz, Land Conservation Award

2002

  • Jim Crain, Land Conservation Award

2000

  • Marcel Arsenault, Land Conservation Award

1999

  • Audrey and Jim Benedict, Land Conservation Award
  • Anne and Henry Goodnow, Land Conservation Award

1998

  • Katharine Welch, Land Conservation Award

1997

  • Lillian C. Trevarton, Land Conservation Award
  • Boulder County Nature Association, Land Conservation Award

1996

  • Dorothy Ellen Trevarton, Land Conservation Award
  • James L. Henry, Land Conservation Award

1995

  • Martin and Natali Steinberg, Land Conservation Award

1994

  • Ruth Wright, Land Conservation Award

1993

  • Stuart S. Anderson, Land Conservation Award
  • Lee S. and Virginial H. Evans, Land Conservation Award
  • LeRoy Schlagel, Land Conservation Award

1992

  • Martha Ricky Weiser, Land Conservation Award
  • Clancy C. Waneka, Land Conservation Award
  • Arthur R. Stromquist (awarded posthumously), Land Conservation Award
  • Alva M. Dodd, Sr. (awarded posthumously), Land Conservation Award

Contact Us

Parks & Open Space

Renata Frye
rfrye@bouldercounty.gov
303-678-6261