We are pleased to bring you the Annual Report for our fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 -June 30, 2020).
2020 has been an inspiring and difficult year unlike any year in our 22-year history. Seemingly overnight, with the rest of the world, we closed our facilities due to the pandemic. We adapted quickly and pivoted to virtual learning. Our educators and naturalists produced over 100 lessons for safe at-home nature exploration and we reached more than 124,000 people from 49 states with our virtual programs. In March, April, and May, while our facilities were closed, we had more traffic to our website than ever before because of these lessons. Every local classroom scheduled for a Field Science Program received a virtual lesson and Walking Mountains experience even if they were unable to attend in person.
In June we began offering adapted in-person programming and Summer Science Camps. We reached a 96% capacity with summer science camps and had more hiking club participants than ever before.
Our sustainability programs also continued to thrive. Last year we trained 93 local business professionals in sustainability and conducted 161 residential and commercial energy assessments. We also helped 98 local families or businesses attain rebates for energy efficiency projects which will help our community meet our Climate Action Plan goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025 and 80% by 2050.
This year also marked our first full year of operations in the new Borgen Precourt Center for Sustainability. The spectacular net-zero building has effectively doubled our classroom, meeting and office space and will significantly increase the number of Eagle River Valley community members and students we can inspire and empower to preserve and protect the earth through our programs.
We also completed the construction of the Pete & Pat Frechette Educator Community. The housing, comprised of two six-bedroom, six-bathroom buildings, will accommodate Walking Mountains’ educators and naturalist staff. The housing is also designed to be net-zero and is the only net-zero employee housing in the Eagle River Valley. While we are uncertain what the upcoming winter or summer will bring, we know now that we will always be able to house our educators.
We are proud of all we accomplished this year, in no small part due to your exceptional generosity and support. We believe our mission to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education is more important than ever before.
As our students grow into the stewards we hope them to be, their education at Walking Mountains grows with them, and the impact is felt within the confines of our Valley and beyond.
We cannot do the work we do without you. Your consistent and generous support is inspiring and we are deeply grateful for you and all you do for us.
With Best Regards,
Read the 2020 Annual Report