For 20 years, Walking Mountains Science Center has enjoyed dedicated and crucial community support; the majority of their programs are offered for free or at low cost due to the generosity of private donors, endowments and grants. However, some contribute to Walking Mountains’ mission with an often overlooked currency: good old fashioned elbow grease.
Volunteers are essential to Walking Mountains’ day-to-day operations. Some are a friendly face at the front desk, some help the staff maintain the trails surrounding any one of their three locations across the valley, and some have even taken it upon themselves to become trained and educated to a degree that they can lead programs. And of course, the Walking Mountains Board of Directors are some of the most involved volunteers in the organization, using their expertise and passion to help guide the direction of the nonprofit’s impressive growth.
In order to show their appreciation for the volunteers who empower Walking Mountains’ missions in a wide variety of ways, the very first Walking Mountains’ Volunteer of the Year award was given out this January. The recipient of this inaugural award was Jim Spiker, a familiar face to staff and regular program attendees at Walking Mountains’ Avon campus.
Jim Spiker has volunteered as a docent at Walking Mountains nearly every week since the Avon location opened in 2011. As the organization has grown and changed, Jim has been a cherished constant. With more than forty volunteers and staff in attendance, the evening was spent celebrating the hundreds of hours put into diverting waste from the landfill, citizen science projects, guiding nature walks, plus many more volunteer opportunities and contributions.
In 2017 Walking Mountains’ volunteers staffed the front desk at their Avon location for a total of 250 hours, diverted 29,565 pounds of waste from the landfill at 31 Zero Waste events, spent 150 hours building and maintaining trails, and guided or hosted 35 community programs.
Walking Mountains Science Center is grateful to everyone who has supported their mission throughout the years. Whether through financial contributions or a friendly face willing to help each week, the organization’s success is tied to the Eagle Valley community’s support.
Walking Mountains Science Center’s mission is to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship through natural science education. Click here to see a full list of their programs or explore volunteering opportunities.