25th Anniversary Celebration
|Sunday, October 30, 2011
Mount Vernon Country Club
On October 30, 2011, the Clear Creek Land Conservancy marked the 25th anniversary of its founding with a celebration at Mount Vernon Country Club. Nearly one hundred of CCLC’s friends and supporters, past and present, gathered to mingle and celebrate all that CCLC has accomplished. CCLC’s current Board of Directors presented awards to Dot Crawford, Bob Weimer and Rock Pring to recognize their tremendous volunteer efforts over the years in support of land preservation in Clear Creek Canyon.
When CCLC was founded in 1986 by a group of forward-looking preservationists, led by Carla Coleman and Rock Pring, most of Clear Creek Canyon was privately owned and prime for residential development. The popular historic Beaver Brook Trail was protected by no more than a narrow easement that could not protect it from encroaching subdivisions. The central Canyon was threatened by the proposed Sheep Creek aggregate mine above Guy Gulch, which was starting through the design and permit process. The Clear Creek Land Conservancy was established to orchestrate land preservation in the Canyon and to act as a catalyst for both private and governmental open space preservation efforts. The founders had a shared dream of preserving the Canyon for all time.
Twenty-five years later, Clear Creek Canyon is largely preserved. CCLC owns 650 acres outright and holds conservation easements on 1,976 acres, while Jefferson County Open Space has protected over 6,000 acres in 4 large parks, and Denver's Genesee Mountain Park holds 2,000 more acres. In all, nearly 10,000 acres of open space in the Canyon have received permanent protection, including all of the land adjacent to the Beaver Brook Trail. For a detailed account of CCLC’s land preservation accomplishments in the Canyon in its first 25 years, see our Conservation History. By all accounts this record of conservation success is well beyond what CCLC’s founders had anticipated.
Dot Crawford (featured above) was honored with the Clear Creek Land Conservancy’s Outstanding Service Award. Dot has been a tireless volunteer for good causes for many years. She was an original organizer of CCLC, was active in the Canyon Defense Coalition, the Douglas Mountain Homeowners Association, the DAR Pioneer Museum in Golden, PEO, and many other organizations.
CCLC’s Board of Directors was proud to honor Bob Weimer with the Carla Coleman Conservation Award. Bob has been involved in every aspect of land preservation in Clear Creek Canyon. He was a leader with the Rilliet Park Association, Mount Vernon Country Club, and the Northwoodside Foundation. He was instrumental in Northwoodside's ultimate acquisition of the Norm Ralston property, which was key to final preservation of the Beaver Brook Trail. Bob's research into early homesteaders in the Canyon has preserved that key history for future generations.
Finally, Rock Pring (featured above) was honored with CCLC’s Founders Award, designed especially for him. Rock, more than any other single person, has been the driving force behind CCLC's continuing operation. He helped design it, organized it, and led it for 24 years. For many of those years he did everything, taking care of the paperwork, setting up meetings, running projects, and keeping CCLC’s records in order. He drafted all the conservation easements CCLC holds and had a guiding hand in all the land transactions. In many ways, the long-term success of land preservation in the Canyon is due to Rock's steady hand on the helm.
In addition to providing an opportunity to thank all of CCLC’s supporters, the 25th anniversary event was also a great time. Mount Vernon Country Club provided its usual fine food, and Franz Roehmann and his trio, accompanied by a jazz pianist, provided background music, as all the guests mingled and talked about their efforts over the years. Nine local artists, members of Plein Air Artists of Colorado, displayed their work and set up their easels on the terrace overlooking the Canyon so that guests could see them at work. To view a few of the finished paintings, please go to The Canyon as Art.
Many generous donors contributed 35 items for a silent auction, and vigorous bidding helped CCLC to raise significant donations in support of its continuing land management and acquisition activities. You can read more about the event in our December 2011 Newsletter. We would also like to thank City & Mountain Views magazine for publishing a great feature piece about the event.
All guests at the 25th anniversary celebration received copies of CCLC's new 2012 Clear Creek Canyon calendar, Images of Clear Creek, unveiled for the first time at the 25th anniversary event. The calendar features breathtaking wildlife and landscape photos of Clear Creek Canyon and the surrounding area taken by renowned local photographers Ken Paul, Gary Caskey, Laurence Caine, and John Gritts. Images of Clear Creek is now available for sale on CCLC’s website, and all proceeds will go towards CCLC’s conservation efforts.
Plans for 2013’s calendar are already in the works, including a photo competition to be judged by world-renowned wilderness photographer Boyd Norton. The winning photographs will be featured in the 2013 calendar, and 24 finalists will see their photos exhibited at Mount Vernon Country Club. Click here to purchase one of these calendars and to learn how you can submit photographs to the 2013 calendar photo competition.
Although we can all be proud of the accomplishments made possible in CCLC’s first 25 years by the continuous support of CCLC’s volunteers and supporters, the job of preserving Clear Creek Canyon is still not complete. There are still outstanding land parcels that need protection, and CCLC will always need volunteers and funds to continue its land management and advisory tasks.
Please take a moment to consider how important Clear Creek Canyon is to the quality of your life and consider making a donation to help make the Clear Creek Land Conservancy’s next 25 years as successful as its first 25. Let's keep up the good work!