Yampatika wins award, $5K | SteamboatToday.com

Yampatika wins award, $5K

Environmental Sterling Award presented Wednesday

Brent Boyer

Twelve years and more than 300,000 visitors after its inception, Yampatika has been named the recipient of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation’s Sterling Anniversary Award in the environmental field.

An award plaque and a $5,000 check were presented to the nonprofit organization during a brief ceremony Wednesday in the Steamboat Pilot & Today community conference room. The award was co-sponsored by Lyman Orton and Julie Green.

“We are totally thrilled,” Yampatika board president Lindarose Berkley said. “We’ve worked very hard to provide to the community the kind of environmental education we feel it deserves.”

Yampatika is an environmental education organization dedicated to teaching residents and visitors about the natural and cultural resources of Northwest Colorado. Established in 1992, Yampatika offers a wide variety of programs, including interpretive hikes, guided ski and snowshoe tours, bird identification seminars and a multitude of other programs for people of all ages. Yampatika hopes to instill in people an awareness and appreciation of their natural surroundings.

The organization recently created an endowment to provide for long-term program sustainability, executive director Deb Fuller said. Yampatika also is in the process of constructing an elaborate nature center at its space on U.S. Highway 40 south of Walton Creek Road.

Wednesday’s award was overwhelming, Fuller said, particularly in light of the other nonprofit community organizations dedicated to various environmental causes.

“It’s an honor to have even been considered for the nomination,” Fuller said.

“It really was a group of excellent nominees,” Yampa Valley Community Foundation board president Paula Cooper Black said. “I didn’t envy the group having to make the decision.”

Other area nonprofits with ties to the environmental field include Born Free Wildlife Rehabilitation, The Nature Conservancy, Yampa River Botanic Park, Yampa Valley Land Trust, Yampa Valley Recycles, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Community Agriculture Alliance.

The award is the fourth of five the Yampa Valley Community Foundation is presenting to area nonprofits in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Awards in the fields of recreation, education and health and human services already have been presented. The final award, in the field of arts and culture, will be presented during a ceremony Dec. 15 at the Depot Art Center.

Anyone wishing to nominate an organization for the arts and culture award can send a one-page letter describing the mission of the organization and why it’s deserving of the award to publisher@steamboatpilot.com or fax it to 879-2888. Nomination submissions are due by Nov. 20.

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