January 2015 Monthly E-News

Staff Changes at RMFI

The new year brought RMFI a few new staffing shake-ups which we would like to share with you.
       Our wonderful Program Director of the last two-plus years, Amber Shanklin, has started a new position with the Palmer Land Trust. While we already miss her hard work ethic and spunk, we could not be more excited for her as she advances her career in land conservation.
       We are thrilled to additionally announce that our former Program Coordinator, Joe Lavorini, has accepted a well-deserved promotion and has seemlessly transitioned into the Program Director position. Joe has been involved at RMFI since 2008 and brings a plethora of experience and knowledge to his new role at RMFI.
       Finally, we are equally excited to announce that Andy Riter, former Field Instructor, has been selected to fill the Program Coordinator role. Andy has been involved at RMFI since 2012 and brings a powerhouse blend of administrative experience and expertise in our field projects. Andy will step into his new position as Program Coordinator on January 20.   
       Please join us in congratulating all three on their new positions!

On a related note...

RMFI is Hiring!

RMFI is hiring Field Instructors for the 2015 field season. The Field Instructor aids in the planning and implementation of RMFI's trail, restoration, and education field programs. Field Instructors work a seasonal schedule, March to November, to protect some of Southern Colorado's most outstanding natural areas. The Field Instructor leads community volunteers, youth crews, and students in completing ecological restoration projects throughout the region. Find further information and a complete job description HERE.

Applications Open for Earth Corps 2015

Earth Corps is a program run by Rocky Mountain Field Institute in partnership with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to provide motivated, environmentally-conscious undergraduates the opportunity to live and learn in the incredible natural classroom of the Colorado wilderness. This for-credit program is designed to integrate key lessons in environmental studies with the completion of a critical trail improvement project on Kit Carson-Challenger Ridge. For four weeks, participants will live, work, and learn in a backcountry wildland environment, complete long hours of very demanding physical labor at altitudes of 11,000-14,000+ feet, and make enduring friendships. Earth Corps will take place July 13 - August 10. Early application deadline is February 20. Find complete program information HERE

RMFI Continues Kit Carson-Challenger Ridge Trail Project in 2015

The Rocky Mountain Field Institute recently received a 2 year, $114,000 grant from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Recreational Trails Grant Program for the Kit Carson-Challenger Ridge Trail Project. The main objective of this project is to establish a sustainable trail to access the summits of Kit Carson and Challenger Point in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The current user-created social trail is gullied, unsafe, and unpleasant for hikers. The current trail also crosses environmentally fragile areas including populations of sensitive alpine plants and an alpine wetland east of Willow Lake. Phase 1 of the project will combine re-routing the current social trail to a more durable and sustainable location and reconstructing usable sections of the existing alignment with proper structures including rock steps and retaining walls. Students from RMFI’s Earth Corps program as well as members of the Southwest Conservation Corps - Los Valles will spend approximately 8 weeks during the summer of 2015 completing Phase 1 of the project.

Now Scheduling 2015 Group Volunteer Workdays

Have a group of enthusiastic, environmentally-conscious individuals ready to roll up their sleeves, pick up a tool, and volunteer in the great outdoors this year? We would love to hear from you! RMFI hosts workdays for large and small groups from local schools, businesses, universities, athletic teams, military bases, and others. We are busily planning our 2015 field season which will begin in mid-March and run through mid-November. Don't miss your opportunity to get on our calendar as our Community Stewardship schedule often fills early. Contact RMFI Volunteer Coordinator, Molly Mazel, at 719-471-7736 or [email protected] to schedule your group.   

Another Successful Give! Campaign!

Once again, we are overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity shown to us by our supporters through the Indy Give! campaign. We have had the good fortune to be included in this incredible program for the past five years, and every year we raise more funds than the previous. This year, 209 of you donated more than $11,000, and that is on top of the $8,100 we received in matching grants and the extra bonus grants we earned through the Lottie Grant award, the Young Donor Challenge award, and Veda Salon and Spa's Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good Challenge. THANK YOU for helping us make this year's Give! campaign our most successful yet. Your support helps us care for our public lands through field-based research, education, and community stewardship programs.

We would like to extend an invitation to all of our wonderful supporters to the Give! Check Ceremony and Wrap-Up Party. Come celebrate with us from 4-6 p.m. on Jan. 29 at the El Pomar Pavilion at Penrose House. Prizes will be awarded; media mavens will cover the event; and delicious food and drink will be provided by the Picnic Basket and Bristol Brewing. Help us pack the audience with thrilled Give! supporters! 

Banff Mountain Film Festival - February 28

Don't miss one of the best outdoor and adventure film events of the year! Once again, Mountain Chalet is bringing the Banff Mountain Film Festival to Colorado Springs. Tickets for this world tour event are $15 in-store at Mountain Chalet or online at www.mtnchalet.com. Don't miss out! At time of writing, this event is almost sold out.

Bonus!: 100% of proceeds of this event are donated to Rocky Mountain Field Institute. Thanks, Mountain Chalet and Stargazers Theatre!

Saturday, February 28, 2015 - 7:00pm, doors open at 6:00pm
Stargazers Theatre, 10 South Parkside Drive

Watch the Trailer

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