‘The Oscars of sustainability’ | SteamboatToday.com

‘The Oscars of sustainability’

Community Alliance of Yampa Valley honors new pioneers

— The Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley is holding a new event to recognize the area’s “new pioneers.”

“It will be like the Oscars of sustainability in the Yampa Valley,” board member Brett Kencairn said.

Kencairn is modeling the New Pioneers of the Yampa Valley event after a similar gala held by a sustainable organization in the Pacific Northwest.

“I have to confess, it’s not a new idea,” he said. “But as part of the process I watched how powerful the event was in terms of inspiring people to try new things.”

The mission of the Alliance is to maintain, promote and grow sustainable practices in the Yampa Valley. The Alliance hopes to develop a collaborative community definition of sustainability out of this nomination process.

“Instead of trying to say we have the single definition of sustainability, we will honor people for their accomplishments and develop a set of ideas and a standard for what we think is sustainable,” Kencairn said. “We are trying to provoke a community conversation of what sustainability means to the Yampa Valley.”

Nominations will be accepted from anyone in the community in six different categories: Green Business, Green Building, Land Stewardship and Conservation, Community Stewardship and Culture, Youth, and Resource Conservation Technologies and Practices.

“For each category, we try to reach out into the community and involve people who have a direct interest and deep involvement in the particular sector,” Kencairn said. “And to work as a small group in creating a provisional draft and criteria in each category.”

Paul Bonnifield, a longstanding rancher and historian of the Yampa Valley, will lead the presentation the evening of the event.

“He will set the historical pioneer context by telling stories of early pioneers of the valley,” Kencairn said. “And local food producers will be supplying the dinner with local beef and lamb right down to the fruit in the pie and the wheat that is all grown, ground and baked here in the Yampa Valley.”

The event will include dinner, live music and a multimedia presentation of the new pioneers and their endeavors. It will take place Oct. 21 at the Depot Art Center. Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 15, and forms can be obtained at http://www.wccongress.org/newpioneers.htm or contact the Community Alliance office at 879-6252 or maggie@wccongress.org.

– To reach Allison Plean, call 871-4204 or e-mail aplean@steamboatpilot.com

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