Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Sept. 10, 2017)

Buddy Program enjoys the great outdoors

Since summer has drawn to a close and youth are back in school, the Buddy Program’s LEAD (Leadership through Exploration, Action, and Discovery) Program team is reflecting on an awesome summer of camp opportunities for local youth from Aspen to Carbondale (see related photos, page 3).

Thanks goes to the talented, comedic, bright, caring and very energetic 20 middle school students who spent five days with us at our annual Dream Day Camp. Campers did an art project with the Art Base, mountain biked with Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, hiked and explored local trails, rafted with Elk Mountain Expeditions, completed trail work with Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, and ended the week with a camp-out at Chapman Campground up the Fryingpan River. Earlier this summer at our annual Youth Camp in Moab, Utah, 27 high school students spent five days mountain biking, canyoneering, rappelling, climbing, rafting and hiking.

We would like to thank all of our donors and partners for these wonderful opportunities and making this the best summer yet; we couldn’t have done it without you!

John Brasier

LEAD Program coordinator, the Buddy Program

We’re in it together on climate change

I have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since February 1993 and have always been very proud to participate in numerous projects to protect our natural surroundings, wildlife habitat, the quality of our water and air, progressive efforts to work with renewable energy sources and alternative fuels, and many amazing displays of responsible citizenship.

There is a lot to be proud of here. We have an amazing network of grassroots organizations that work tirelessly to preserve our quality of life. Because of some of the reasons we live here — such as the hiking, rafting, fishing, hunting and general recreational opportunities we all enjoy — I feel it is more important than ever for us to pay attention to living more green. Our ski seasons are getting shorter, forest fire season has expanded beyond the normal summer months to nearly a year-round threat, and pollution issues threaten our clean air and water long term. I think most of us in this valley value our quality of life and want to see it preserved for our grandchildren and all future generations.

National Geographic worked with major filmmakers on a massive undertaking to show sites all around the world that are being impacted by climate change. Actor/ activist Leonardo DeCaprio narrates “Before the Flood,” which aired on the National Geographic Channel on my Comcast cable station last winter. What was particularly good about this film is that DeCaprio approached the project with the attitude of: “Teach me, show me, help me learn what I need to know about all aspects of the climate change issue.” The entire film was shot on locations all around the world, showing firsthand what the ice melt in Greenland is doing, the islands in the South Pacific that are underwater at high tide, what a tar-sands oil recovery site in Canada looks like and how alternative fuel sources can help slow climate issues.

A nonprofit group called “350 Colorado,” which focuses on lessening our carbon consumption and using alternative and renewable fuels, is going to show the film “Before the Flood” at the Carbondale Library at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The event is free, and we invite everyone to attend. Wilderness Workshop is supporting our effort to put this film on, as well as a few other local groups who have posted the information on their websites.

Doors will open at 5:30, with the film starting promptly at 6 p.m. Our group leader, Julia Williams, grew up in Carbondale. She will lead a short discussion and Q&A after the film. We would like to talk about what is going on in our own communities, how we have made choices in our own lives to help reduce our carbon footprint and live more green.

It will be most convenient for everyone to use the side entrance into the library that comes in from the parking lot area. We hope that families with slightly-older, school-aged children will consider attending. One function of 350 Colorado is education about climate change. This will be a great opportunity to network and learn. We hope you will attend!

Jennifer Moore

Volunteer, 350 Colorado

Glenwood Springs