Save the Date!
MindFest 2024:
Uniting Our Community for Mental Wellness!
February 17, 2024
More details coming soon!
285 Backpack Pantry Program


Children who are hungry have difficulty staying focused for learning. They experience mood swings. They have trouble participating in athletics and other activities. They experience stomach aches, headaches and fatigue. Chronic hunger impacts kids for a lifetime.

One in five children in Colorado belong to families that cannot afford food or do not have regular access to food.  The 285 Backpack Project is here to help.

The 285 Backpack Project is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Conifer and the communities of Conifer and Bailey.  We help children who do not have enough food to eat at home by providing them with easy-to-prepare weekend meals and snacks throughout the school year.  By helping to sustain these children, we want to not only help meet their nutritional needs but also promote their physical, cognitive and social development, and enhance their overall sense of well-being.

  • Rotary members order the food from the Food Bank of the Rockies to fill our 285 Backpack pantry and every week during the school year, volunteers from the community meet to fill bags with a variety of easy to prepare, nutritious foods for kids to take home.  
  • The school arranges delivery of the bags to the children whose families have requested the food.  Any child is eligible.  All families are invited by letter from the principal to participate.


Want to make a difference?  You can help by volunteering through the sign-up genius below, by making a donation to the Conifer Rotary Foundation or by helping to get families signed up.

End Polio Now
Rotary is an international community that brings together leaders who step up to take on the world’s toughest challenges, locally and globally. The eradication of polio is one of our longest standing and most significant efforts. Along with our partners, we have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. We have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide and we won't stop until we end the disease for good.
Learn more by visiting: 
Join us! 
Conifer Rotary meets Tuesday mornings at 8:00 AM in a hybrid format either at the Mountain Resource Center or online via videoconference over Zoom. Evening meetings are currently being held in person every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 5:30 PM at Our Lady of the Pines.
Visitors please join us, email us at and we will send you the information you need for the meetings.  Club members, check your email for online meeting details from our President.
Meeting Programs
Wes Paxton
Sep 26, 2023
Jim Myers
Oct 03, 2023
Sasquatch Outpost
Rotary Foundation Donations
Join us in our Conifer Rotary Foundation efforts to make our local community and the world a better place.
Join us in supporting the Rotary International Foundation's many national and international humanitarian projects by clicking HERE.
Upcoming Events
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Club members can make dues payments here.
Peace Park Opening Ceremony
Rotary of Conifer Peace Park Has Opening Ceremony with a Native American Blessing and Song
Rotary Club of Conifer Peace Park held its grand opening and blessing ceremony on June 11, with songs, poetry and messages of peace, including a Lakota blessing by Helen Patz, Puerto Rican Taino Native American. “Peace is the absence of want,” District 5450 Governor Nnabuchi “Buchi” Anikpezie said to the audience of over 80 Rotarians and other members of the community who braved heavy rains to attend the ceremony. Incoming District Governor Jim Johnston remarked, “Peace is a cornerstone of Rotary’s mission…working to create peace, in our local communities, in our underserved communities, we believe this can have a global effect.”
Funded by Conifer Rotary with a matching Rotary District 5450 grant, the communities of Conifer, Pine Junction, and Bailey were deeply involved in the Peace Park’s creation.  The site, in a grassy aspen grove in central Conifer, was donated by the Aspen Park Community Center Home Improvement Association. The community donated funds and hundreds of volunteer hours. The park has three peace poles with the message of “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in 24 languages, and a boulder with the Rotary Four-Way Test engraved.
Stanley Harsha, the Conifer Rotary incoming President, said the Peace Park will also be a place for peace education for school children, adding, “There’s been very little education about how to build peace.”
Local musicians performed peace songs. David Steele, of the Rocky Mountain Compassionate Communications Network, read his poetry of empathy. Abby Leidel, a West Jefferson Middle School student, recited her peace poem, Empty Hands. Lower Downtown Denver Rotarian Kelly Thompson talked about her Peace Corps experience in Ecuador. Dennis Swiftdeer Paige, the park’s designer, told Maya Dawson of the Canyon Courier, that the park is a where people “can reflect and meditate” to understand where they are in their lives.
Rotary Conifer News
Updates & Announcements
Our Rotary exchange student, Julia Lima Ambrosio, joined us. Stan also joined online.
  • On Thursday night, there will be a meeting about ConiferFest to figure out what can be done better.
  • Yvonne provided a MindFest update. We are making a PowerPoint presentation to pitch grants and sponsorships. Save the Date is up and we are working on a website. We have two speakers and one vendor. Jin Halderman will be speaking on anger management, Carrie Lehtonen on stress management, Bryn Murphy does play therapy and will bring her toys. We have ten fun facts to know about your brain. Event will be at Our Lady of the Pines on Feb. 17. We need to educate parents to see when their kids are struggling.
  • Wes updated everyone about Resilience 12-20 group sessions that are available to everyone in the foothills and shared that all the schools have access to Hazel Health counseling services online. Free to the students.
  • Peaches will be delivered on Saturday and this will most likely to be our most profitable fundraiser.
  • There will be no September 12th morning meeting; it will be combined with the evening meeting and will be held on September 13th at the Mountain Resource Center from 5:30pm-7:00pm. Topic: Ryla Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) participants to present on their RYLA experience to the entire club.  
Meeting program
Social Services for Seniors, Mary Anne Wesoloski, Seniors Alliance of Platte Canyon
Mary Anne Wesoloski of Seniors Alliance of Platte Canyon spoke about discovering that the reason Bailey was receiving so few services for elderly and others was the result of its location. It is in the Pikes Peak region for social services and Bailey is hard to reach from Colorado Springs. The alliance opened just before Covid struck. They work to connect seniors to advocacy, education, socialization and resources. They’ve had a 9 HealthCare Day in Bailey, helped people register for vaccinations because many people can’t get internet, and offered classes in fire evacuation in connection with Fire-Adapted Bailey and Platte Canyon Fire Department. The majority of disaster victims are older. They’ve added a food pantry, a food van, and a blood pressure and foot clinic, as well as the popular lending closest for crutches and other medical equipment. We are looking for funding for a half-time volunteer in our office and could use help with grant writing.
Updates & Announcements
  • Stan sent out an email with training opportunities, including Rotary 101 and a leadership course.
  • The club board voted to create an Environment Committee, with focus on Wildfire Ready. We felt it is so important that we should have an ad hoc committee to manage that. Ann Imse will chair it. It also will include Operation Pollination. Ann suggested starting with Tim or someone from Colorado Native Plant Society as a speaker to the club.
  • The board also discussed having a better understanding of the club and its budget, vs the foundation, which has its own budget.
    We will have a meeting in September and Lee will talk about that. We have a large surplus in the club, $17,000. We are running a $7,000 deficit for the year. Some things we funded this year: Mindfest Project; the exchange student was cancelled last year and came this year; the refugee program; Polio Plus, $1,000 to international programs. We want to spend down the big surplus. In the past, our income has equaled our expenses.
  • We need to elect the foundation board in September for this current year, starting July 1.
  • Stan’s tree award goes to Bill Taylor for selling all the Rotary glasses and raising money for Conifer Rotary Club. He will be at Safeway on Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Lee shared that it was Dean’s birthday. Everyone sang Happy Birthday; we were actually a pretty good singing group!
  • Stan reminded everyone to purchase peaches. The deadline to sign up is Aug. 18.
Upcoming Events
  • Wes reminded everyone that this Saturday is ConiferFest. Please sign up to help, please ask family and friends to sign up.  Weather now 30% chance of rain.
Meeting program
Goals, Grit and Grace, Sarah Thomas, Ultra-Marathon Swimmer
The speaker was Sarah Thomas, 41, of Conifer, an ultra-marathon swimmer and world record holder for swimming 104 miles in open water in Lake Champlain. Then she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at 35. She had full-on treatment, and then crossed the English Channel, as well as swam Scotland to Ireland, both ways. She is a veterinarian recruiter.
Sarah: You can achieve good things if you just believe in yourself. The rules for open-water marathon swimming: No wetsuit. You’re allowed a swimcap, earplugs and goggles. It’s about the human body versus nature. So, I swam 67 hours with no breaks, no hugs. "It takes goals, grit and grace."
I was a college swimmer but never thought I would be a marathoner. Teammates on an adult team talked me into a 10k in Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins. I resisted, but I did it. Later, I did a race around Manhattan. “It’s a really neat way to see New York.” People from a restaurant ran out with a glass of champagne.
She swam the English Channel, Loch Ness, Lake Champlain for the record. “I felt like I could do anything.” Two months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent full treatment. Then, “I swam Horsetooth, and I could say, “I won. I beat this.” But she now gives herself the grace of saying it is ok if she doesn’t make the distance.
Updates & Announcements
Visitors included: Virgil Scott, visitor from Rotary of Denver. Potential new members: Dr. Joshua Mongillo, Jeff Lewallen
  • Happy dollars are going to the 285 Backpack project, food for kids who need it on the weekend.
  • Dean recommended viewing the documentary, “Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine,” on Netflix, with images from the space telescope.
  • Ann thanked everyone for help with the Ukrainian refugee family who arrived July 14.
  • Charlotte introduced new prospective member Jeff Lewallen; who saved us today with his knowledge around Zoom.
  • Bill Taylor introduced a guest attending today, his friend Dr. Joshua Mongillo, a chiropractor.
  • Stan gave the Tree Award to the MindFest team for winning a matching DDF grant from Rotary for their upcoming event. The grant is $3,000, for a total of $6,000 budget for the mental health fest that is being planned for February.
  • Stan thanked everyone who helped at Elevation Celebration with the Rotary Wildfire Ready fire truck and education.
  • Lee updated everyone on the Palisades Peaches sale: at least 200 boxes of peaches have been sold online and Angela has approximately 30-40 sales as well.
  • Stan provided an update from Tim Berg (the evening meeting chair): He would like us to join Operation Pollination. It’s a national/international project. The district governor-elect is fully behind this. He’s asking us to sign a resolution saying we will promote pollination for habitat. This is part of a Rotary International Environmental Sustainability Action Group project, signed by previous RI President Jennifer Jones and District 5450 President-Elect Tammie Fennell. He’s hoping that signing the Pollination Resolution which simply asks the Rotary to carry out activities to educate and promote plants that will contribute to pollination. One idea is an event in early November spreading native wildflower seeds at the Peace Park with children, educating them. Discussion around this topic:
    Lee: As club treasurer, we are stressed this year. What is this going to cost us?
    Stan: I have the budget for $100 for wildflower seed for the Peace Park but I don’t expect any other additional costs.
    Dean: I have space in my yard.
    Almost everyone raised their hands as supporting.
  • Update on schedule from Stan: From Aug. 13 to Sept. 3, he will be in Indonesia to set up a student exchange program for CU-Boulder. NO MORNING MEETING on August 15, 2023.
  • Update from Stan: There was an International Refugee Committee training yesterday. We have a core group of at least 7-8 to mentor a refugee family, probably in late fall.  With the $1500 Rotary budget and other donations, we will have over $2000 for this, and IRC will help us to raise more funds.
  • Bill continues his great work distributing Rotary glasses for donations!! Thanks to him for all his great work!
Upcoming Events
  • REMINDER: Please sign up to volunteer for ConiferFest.
  • Diana needs help on Aug. 9 between 12:00pm and 6:00pm at Mountain Resource Center’s School Supply Market. Lots of families come to this to get school supplies; this is how we get a lot of our students signed up for our Backpack project.
  • The Visioning exercise is being moved to October because of the upcoming Sept. 30 District 5450 Conference.
Meeting program
Colorado Rotary Endowed Fellowship for Pediatric Mental Health at Children’s Hospital, Debbie Doig and Shrin Murthy, Highlands Ranch Rotary
Speaker was Debbie Doig from Highlands Ranch Rotary, which raised the money for the Colorado Rotary Endowed Fellowship for Pediatric Mental Health at Children’s Hospital. She was accompanied by Shrin Murthy, also from Highlands Ranch Rotary.
She showed a video of our new Rotary International president Gordon McInelly, who told the story of his brother Ian, who developed depression, hid it and then took his own life.
In 2021, Children’s Hospital declared a state of emergency for youth mental health. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Colorado’s children aged 10-24. Studies show 15% of Colorado kids 65,000 age 12-17 are depressed. In the U.S., one in five kids have a mental health disorder, and less than 50% will get treatment. Families take them to the Emergency Room, thinking somebody can help them, and they sit there for days, weeks.
Highlands Ranch Rotary decided to raise $500,000 for an endowment for a pediatric fellowship at Children’s Hospital. A fellow is a psychiatrist who has completed his residency and decides to do a deep dive into Pediatric Psychiatry for two years. The average fellow will have 1500 patient visits a year. Long after we are gone, there will be a cohort of fellows seeing kids. They have raised $465,000.
For donations, please make checks to Highlands Ranch Rotary Foundation Inc. PO Box 632118, Highlands Ranch, CO 80163-2113. Note restricted to: REF4PMH.
Updates & Announcements
Stan opened the meeting by introducing our Rotary guests: Jeff Lewallen and Olivia Pollcicchio, Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity Community Outreach Organizer
The following announcements & updates were shared:
  • “Creating Hope in the World” Pins were handed out to everyone.
  • Ukranian Refugees arrived last week. Several people helped welcome them and get them settled.
  • Leslie will talk to Art about Roadside Cleanup
  • Marlis shared an update on from Blue Creek Eagles and their Destination Imagination event; shared a thank you card.
  • Janine has 1 family cleared to go for exchange student (who arrives in 1 month). She’s still trying to pin down 2 other families.
  • This Sunday Stan is hosting “The Transformative Power of Communicating with Compassion”; details in the calendar. Please join him.
  • Bill: We have Rotary glasses, a lot of them! He’s going to be at King Soopers every Tuesday 11-1 up until Coniferfest to try and get donations (maybe more frequently the week leading up to C-fest). Looking for volunteers to join him. All money goes to Foundation.
  • Sandy will be August Sargent in Arms.
Upcoming Events
  • CONIFERFEST Update: we are $3k behind in sponsorships; please help!
  • Elevation Celebration update: Wes is going to drive the firetruck. We're being charged for only 1 space, even though we need more than that. Volunteer registration is full.
  • Mindfest Update: The committee had 2 guests join them from Highlands Ranch Rotary. Charlotte shared information about a program that Highlands Ranch has started to get a fellow (or 2) that would focus solely on Mental Health and Wellbeing at Children’s Hospital. They’ll visit the Rotary on 8/1/23.
  • “Rotary day at the Rockies” – Stan will send out notice. It’s on 9/17/23. If we purchase 8 tickets or more, the club can sit together. $28/ticket; $5 from each ticket goes to eradication of Polio.
Meeting program
The Future of Our Fire Protection Services, Jacob Ware, Fire Chief of Elk Creek, Skip Shirlaw, Fire Chief of Inter-Canyon, Curt Rogers, Fire Chief of North Fork
Background: This initiative started 3-4 years ago because call volume is increasing. They are also battling a volunteers problem, down 17%. Increase call volume, decrease in volunteers. They started looking at ways to improve situation.
  • Consolidation study with 4 groups: Inter-Canyon, Elk Creek, North Fork
  • Indian hills decided to drop out of consolidation.
At age 65, you’re three times more likely to need EMS services and our population is aging.
Jacob been fire chief for 3 years.
Avg home price: $700k now. More people are working now; a lot of people who used to volunteer are working now. They’re always going to need volunteers.
Avg 3.5 people needed to respond per call; 4 professionals working per shift. 27% calls are overlapping. Sometimes they have as many as 4 calls at the same time. Which is one of the reasons they started this consolidation – the districts had need for mutual aid.
They conducted surveys: 1,160 completed surveys. Great response. 63% said they didn’t have sufficient resources. 75% said they supported a tax increase. 69% said they support a consolidation. 100+ people have come to open houses to learn more about the consolidation.
Boards will decide if this goes on the ballet and then it goes to a public vote.
Most busy time: Thursday afternoon
They want three staff stations across the district. HQ would be Inter-Canyon. That cuts out traffic problems in commonly busy areas. Elk Creek station and North Fork would be the other two stations. Decisions were made based on proximity to population and covering high-risk territory.
NO stations will close. None of the stations are failing right now, but in 2-3 years (or sooner), they will be.
Future: “Conifer Fire Rescue”:
  • It’s going to be called ‘Conifer Fire Rescue’
  • 400-mile square district
  • 18 more people will be hired
  • They will respond with the “closest resource” – one central dispatch system à therefore reducing response time
In order to anticipate how this will affect your taxes, view tax calculator on their website: Conifer Fire Districts V1 ( Avg of $10/month Also can add assessment rate for property.
Q: Would it be possible to form a secondary group of volunteers? To help the volunteer firefighters who have to go serve? A: Traditionally, the volunteers had to be an EMT or skilled some way. But they want to meet people where they’re at. A lot of people may just want to drive an ambulance. Or organization, grants, at station, etc. Now, they’ll have more resources to pool together to manage that. Consolidation isn’t just bringing more responders to the emergency, but how else can we impact the community.
Q: The plan should have enough paid firefighters to have enough people to fill a truck. A: They’ll have 10 people available for each call
Q: Fire insurance, will this affect our ratings? A: No, they’re two separate things.
Q: Why have you decided to call it Conifer Fire? A: They explored all kinds of ideas. What is most prominent mountain? Conifer mountain. What’s on the news when they talk about weather? Conifer. It’s such a big focal point. It’s on Weather maps. They went with the name that was most recognizable.
Comment: This is a great way to create an oppty for greater community, within three districts. A wider network. A: Yes, Outreach in so many areas. We have so many people who are passionate about so many things.
Q: Will you have a shared dispatch? A: They all use Jeffcomm for dispatch right now, but independently. With the consolidation, they’ll centralize dispatch.
A: Discuss the board and political process. A: There are three different boards right now. All three boards need to agree to put on ballet, then it goes to public for a vote.
A: There aren’t a lot of fire-wise communities up here. A: Agree. They’re going to meet with our Wildfire ready group.
Q: Do any of you have time to be a member of our Rotary? A: That is something they would like to be part of. Once they get past November.
Q: When is chili cookoff? A: September 9th
Q: South metro pipe district is adjacent to Jefferson district. Does it make sense to merge with them? A: They have a different ISO rating. Also, they have different radio systems/infrastructure.
Q: As developers continue to build in the community, will they share the burdon of cost? A: The fire protection services have no control over land use; they have to provide service to everyone. But, they do work with developers to try and share costs, such as implement a Services Agreement with builders. Fire districts have no authority over growth, but they try to work with developers to have them pay their own way.
Updates and Announcements
In attendance:  Tim, Stan, Kimberly, Angela, Yvonne, Arturo, and Christy. 
  • Tim’s first meeting chairing the evening meeting.
  • Tim wants us to agree on starting and ending the meeting close to on time as these are Rotary International practices.  After discussion of how to accommodate our members who might be late coming to the meeting from work and other business, we agreed to start the meeting by around 5:35 unless someone calls and says they will be a few minutes late, then can wait a little longer. But the meeting will need to end on time so that persons who need to leave can leave. 
  • We unanimously voted to devote Happy Dollars to the Backpack project. We collected $13 which Angela will deposit.
  • Angela needs a PO key to collect the peach checks. Stan will check.
  • Tim:  Proposed that along with Happy Dollars, we can express if have too much going on, want to do more, or need help. He wants to integrate Compassionate Communications into the meetings. Everyone liked both ideas.
  • Many members requested more Rotary brochures by next in time for Elevation Celebration. Need 500 for Elevation Celebration, Coniferfest, Town Hall meetings. 
  • Yvonne and Diana cleaned out the shed. Will use the golf balls for MindFest marketing. We have tons of beer classes. 
  • Yvonne has two vendors and a speaker for MindFest: Reslilience and Peaceworks. Jim Halderman speaker on anger management.
  • Tim: Expressed need for better coordination for Bailey Days with Platte Canyon Council and Wildfire Ready people in Conifer and Evergreen. Others concurred.
  • Stan summarized the main points he made during his first morning meeting as President. See July 11 morning meeting minutes.
Updates & Announcements
Stan opened the meeting with several announcements:
  • Thanked everyone for the large in-person and on-line turnout, and for all the warmth and enthusiasm.
  • Happy dollars will go to Backpack Project for now.
  • We will have two members interview each other so we can get to know each other better.  We also will take time at some meetings for different members to brief on aspects of Rotary that perhaps is not familiar to many. 
  • Kristin is our webmaster; we have an Instagram account now thanks to Janine.
  • District governor Jim Johnson will visit Sept. 19.
  • He wants to promote peace education at schools, using the Compassionate Communications model. Need help to meet with school officials to discuss.  Maybe start with peace clubs in fall 2024. Ed suggested linking this with Rotary buddy benches at schools. A kid sits on it and friend comes and helps
  • Tim sent e-mail that on the CSU Wildfire Ready website, the Jefferson County link for local resources is Rotary Wildfire Ready.
  • Wes: For ConiferFest, we need sponsorships, more volunteers, etc.  We have three beer sponsors, margaritas. Sign-up genius will go up today or tomorrow.
  • Lee:  Peach sales are getting as many as two hits an hour.
  • Jonathan: We are setting up IRC training for the Afghan refugees.
  • Some people recommended Duolingo app to practice English.
  • Video from Gordon McInally, new RI president. Focus on mental health this year. Provide authentic care to each other. Ask “How are you really?”  His other main focus is Peace.
  • Charlotte: I sent an email to newest members to look at Rotary magazine story about McInally’s brother’s unfortunate demise due to depression. The issue also has stories of all the RI and Foundation officers.
  • Yvonne: Let’s switch from using the term “Mental Health and Wellness” to “Mental Wellness and Health.” The suggestion came from Dean.
  • Stan: In September, we will have a Visioning exercise with the whole club, but limited to 30 persons who can attend.  Later, Stan will talk more about mental wellness, peacebuilding, Rotary Action Group for Peace but I don’t want to ask you to do more than you are already doing or want to do.  Stan also will prioritize youth:  Youth projects  include RYLA, Interact. A Brazilian exchange student will be at Charles’ house. Jonathan is chairing our Public Image committee. Janine is doing Facebook page and Instagram. I want a new story on the webpage regularly placed high on the page. Maybe people will think it is an interesting page and support our fundraising. We can spotlight one member a week with a very short story and a photo.
  • Highlights of the Morning Meeting 
    • Visioning 
      • Date: Thursday, September 28th 
      • Who: 28-30 people can attend  
      • Location: TBD 
        • Angela will see if Our Lady of the Pines is open 
    • Training for People that want to Sponsor Refugees 
      • Date:  Monday, July 31st  
      • Time: 9:00 AM – 12:30  
      • Location: 1250 Bergen Parkway 
        • Information on club runner  
    • Conifer Fest 
      • We have more sponsors than last year 
      • Yvonne needs help with the children’s area of Conifer Fest 
    • Compassionate Communications Completed
      • When: Saturday, July 22nd  
      • It was well attended. 
  • Peaches 
    • Date: August 26th  
    • Time: Pick-up starts at 9:00 AM and will end around 4:00PM  
    • People who order online will be required to bring a receipt.  
    •  Volunteers are needed to move peaches on delivery day
      • 3 people needed per shift, 2 shifts  
    • Stanley will pass a volunteer sign up hardcopy around in the morning meeting.  
  • District Training Conference 
    • Date: September 30th, 2023 
    • Costs: 
      • The cost to attend will be reduced this year. 
      • 1st-time attendee cost is always cheaper. 
    • Location: Front Range Community College 
  • Operation Pollination 
    • Started in 2015, then in 2020 Rotary International decided it was a priority. 
    • It has lots of momentum on the East Coast  
    • Approved: All attending night members approved to sponsor this work and get more involved.  
  • Rotary Wildfire Ready 
    • Endorsed by CSU, Colorado State Forest Services, JeffCom 
    • Preferred partner for JeffCo 
  • Club Spending 
    • The whole club to make decisions on how to spend.  
    • Idea: Use funds to purchase shirts for new folks  
    • Idea: Sponsored Rotary membership for Olexander and Lena 
    • Idea: Discounted rotary fee for folks that don’t make as much money so that they are able to be members at a reduced rate  
Updates and Announcements
  • Bill T. Needs help soliciting donations at King Soopers on Tuesdays. He is giving our Rotary glasses to donors.
  • Our Exchange student is arriving August 8th! Any club members can join the welcoming group at the airport.
  • Stan has a new weekly award for the club. Finn wins the first weekly award for getting 4, $1000 sponsorships for ConiferFest!
  • Rotary magazine. Check out the July issue: There are a number of great articles: from our RI President- mental wellness; Freedom in Ukraine; Polio vaccinations; Membership - create the club you crave.
  • Wes. We need help with ConiferFest sign-ups. Right now, he is organizing a group to prepare the ConiferFest site, 9AM Saturday August 5th. Go to Sign-up Genius at
  • Suzanne. She has posters for ConiferFest; there are articles in the newspapers – Canyon Courier.
  • Marlis. Sponsors for ConiferFest; we now have more sponsor money than last year, but still need more. This is for our Foundation. Please continue to solicit sponsorships. Our website has links for vendor and sponsor contracts.
  • Yvonne. She needs help with the children’s area at ConiferFest. Contact her directly.
  • Yvonne. Aug 3rd social at Aspen Peak cellars, RSVP to her by August 1st.
  • Conifer’s Elevation Celebration is this weekend, They need volunteer help, sign up here:
  • Evergreen’s Center for the Arts Summerfest is also this weekend, Help is still needed, go to Sign-up Genius at
  • Charlotte. Next week’s program: Rotary Endowed Fellowship for Pediatric Mental Health, with our District Governor Elect, Tamara Fennell, also Shrin Murthy and Debby Doig from Highlands Ranch Rotary. They met with our MindFest group 2 weeks ago and are giving us full support. They will be sharing about the mental health support of their Club and many others. Also, the support provided by University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center for children's mental wellness
  • Jonathan. Refugee training next week: Monday July 31, 9:00AM-12:30PM at his office. Address: 1250 Bergen Parkway, Suite 8220, Evergreen. If you can join, please RSVP to Jonathan 303-887-6089,
Meeting program
Combating Child Slavery, Dr. Jeff Brodsky, Founder and President of Joy International
Dr Jeff joined us today for a return visit to talk more about his organization, Joy International ( and their tireless effort to save children from slavery. His story is best told on his website: “JOY International® has built key strategic relationships and works diligently to prevent the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children while helping to provide those who are rescued, a renewed hope and JOY for living through approved Safe Houses.”
Some highlights from his talk, sanitized because the stories he told were graphic and very upsetting:
  • Joy International has been active since 1981 with Dr. Jeff leading the charge.
  • He has been barefoot since July 2010, an acknowledgement of the plight of children around the world living in squalor with so little that they have no shoes.
  • His world headquarters is right here in Conifer and he encourages visits.
  • His interest and devotion to this lifetime effort was first inspired by a visit with Mother Teresa in 1979.
  • Having worked undercover himself, he has seen it all, first hand.
  • His organization has rescued children as young as 4 years old from brothels around the world. The average age is 12-13 years old. They live a life of vile servitude until they are no longer desirable and then thrown into the streets. He said their average lifespan is 5 to 7 years.
  • He said that statistics show that slavery is the fastest growing crime in America. Estimates are that in our own country, there are 200,000 to 300,000 children up to age 18, living in slavery.
  • That number is inconceivably greater worldwide: 49.6 million slaves in the world today.
  • His organization is dedicated to not only rescuing children from this life, but also preventing it. They are very active worldwide, training law enforcement to identify and bring slave traders to justice
  • He challenges all Rotary clubs to raise money for Joy International and their cause.
Jeff Lewallen, Olexander from our Ukraine refugee family, and Dr. Jeff Brodsky.
Meeting Events
  • Four Way Test
  • Happy Dollars
  • Update on Bailey Day Event
    • Fire Ready and the fire truck were present
  • Elevation Celebration
    • Notes:
      • Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce (not hosted by Rotary Club)
      • We used to have a table there, but we don’t have one anymore
      • Some Rotary folks volunteer 
  • Conifer Fest
    • Date: August 12th
    • Stan got some more sponsors during the Bailey Day Event
  • Gifts
    • Angela gave out some gifts from last weekend
    • Yvonne - apron
    • Art - hat
  • Board
    • Meets 1x monthly
    • The person chairing the evening club is on the board
    • Anyone can attend, but only certain folks get to vote
  • Evening Meeting Governance
    • Action: Tim will map out some ideas about how we will host Wednesday Meetings and bring it to the next meeting
    • Action: Group let Tim know if they have ideas about standing agenda items
      • E.g. Peaches, timing of meetings, etc.
      • E.g. Folks emailing Tim when they have items
  • Peaches
    • The Peaches blast will go out before Friday
    • $ Helps local groups
  • Evening Meeting Group
    • Group Vote: Voted in Tim as the Chair of the Evening Group for the next year
  • Happy Dollars
  • Group Vote: Voted to have Happy Dollars go to the 285 Backpack Project
Updates and Announcements
  • Valerie Pollitt from Elk Creek Elementary School joined us for the meeting.
  • Peace education: Stan and the peace group are planning to do something at the new peace park. Compassionate communications may be introduced to the schools. Stan thanked everyone who helped at the park dedication. Many people who are not part of Rotary helped too.
  • Rotary Club of Conifer Peace Park held its grand opening and blessing ceremony on June 11, with songs, poetry and messages of peace.  Funded by Conifer Rotary with a matching Rotary District 5450 grant, the communities of Conifer, and neighboring Pine Junction and Bailey, were deeply involved in the Peace Park’s creation. “Peace is the absence of want,” District 5450 Governor Nnabuchi “Buchi” Anikpezie said to the audience of over 80 Rotarians and members of the community who braved heavy rains to attend the ceremony, adding that Rotarians look at the root causes of peace. Incoming District Governor Jim Johnston remarked, “Peace is a cornerstone of Rotary’s mission.” Stanley Harsha, the Conifer Rotary incoming President, said he hopes the Peace Park can be a place for peace education for local school children.
Upcoming Events
  • We need volunteers for wildfire education at Bailey Days, Elevation Celebration and ConiferFest. Please think of people outside Rotary as well. There are people with interest in this in the community that we can recruit.
Meeting program
Seeding Hope, Charly Frisk, Yale School of the Environment; 303-653-6295; @charlyfrisky
Charly Frisk is originally from Colorado, and grew up among the Rockies, where she learned to have a deep care and appreciation for the planet. In 2021, she graduated from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University with a Bachelors in Environmental Studies and Peace Studies. After, she attended Yale School of Environment, where she focused on storytelling within the climate movement. A few weeks ago, she graduated with a Masters of Environmental Management, and will be working with a few communications networks on climate remotely as she spends her summer in Denmark. She is Finn Knudsen’s granddaughter. She did young RYLA, RYLA and then was a counselor for young RYLA.
Charly said she wants to create cultures that help justice. She studied in Nordic countries, and visited urban farms and seed saving facilities trying to protect biological and cultural diversity.
Bombing in Syria hit a major seed bank there.
She visited the arctic Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and visited the seed vault there, which contains more than a million seed varieties from all over the world. It is built into a mountain.
She said we are losing seed diversity at an alarming rate and have lost 75% of seed diversity.
We need diverse seeds in the ground and younger farmers. We need to revitalize the food tradition and culture.
Evergreen Community Garden has free seed exchange in the spring. In Broomfield, there is a seed bank where you can get five varieties every year.
In planting seeds, there is an aspect of hope. You can plant heirloom seed in your home or garden planter.
Q: What about genetically engineered seed from Monsanto, which farmers are not allowed to replant?
A: I met a woman in Denmark who had a terrific garden including many varieties of peas. In Denmark and other countries in Europe, it was illegal to trade seeds even among friends, because Monsanto lobbied for these laws. Some ladies got the law overturned.
Q: What about natural selection? Over centuries, Peru grew potatoes at successively higher altitudes, now at 14,000 feet. Don’t you lose that development in a seed in a seed vault?
A: People select for drought tolerance, pest tolerance, and other things. That is a risk of the seed vault, because you are taking the seed out of their natural environment where they would evolve.  Look for non-GMO seeds. Seed from a community-based event may be far better than seed you buy.
Q: How much of the produce we buy is coming from a Monsanto seed? Versus a more natural seed?
A: I don’t know. We don’t have access to that information as consumers. So going to a farmers market is a way to address that.
Q: How do you know if heirloom seeds are native to that location? How does that impact native seed?
A: Be sure you are not buying invasive species. Colorado is one of the states best at identifying invasive species.
Q: How do you balance need for diversity versus the need for high yield for food?
A: That is a tough issue and a systemic problem. For example, Monsanto sent seeds to Haiti after a disaster and now people in Haiti are stuck with produce where they can’t collect and use their own seed.

Meeting Events
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • 4 Way Test 
  • Happy Dollars! 
  • ConiferFest 
    • Stan. Right now, ConiferFest doesn’t have enough of the sponsors they need for the event. 
  • Bike Park 
    • Stan. During the morning meeting, they had a presentation from the Bike Park sponsors.  
  • Mindfest 
    • Bridget. Provided updates on the purpose, date, location etc.  
  • Vision: 
    • Stan. Will develop survey monkey to solicit input from the club to help set up a future vision exercise.  
  • Peaches: 
    • Angela. Peaches will cost $40 beforehand, will cost $45 the day of.  
  • Action Item: Send budget input items to Stan.  
    • BCB. Send $ projections to Stan for Mindfest.  
Updates and Announcements
  • Jonathan Ramsay asked that everyone interested in helping a refugee family fill out the survey.
  • Marlys said we have $4800 in sponsorships for ConiferFest. That’s about half of what we need to pay for the show, so please help find sponsors.
  • Janine said Charles is hosting an exchange student from Brazil. She also found another host family for several months and needs a third.
Meeting program
The planned Shadow Mountain Bike Park, Phil Bouchard
The state has more than 6,000 bike trails. He and his partner came to realize that a chairlift-access park would be unlike anything at ski areas. They seek to fill a void for Colorado’s mountain bike community.
This idea started as a concept 3 years ago. During the first years, we had so many unknowns. Recently, we applied to Jefferson County for a special use permit. It is 500 pages long. We are super thankful to organizations like yours who let us come in and explain the project.
We plan an engineered, directional trail system with a visitor’s center and a low-impact electric chairlift. We come from a tiny town that had a bike park, not unlike Staunton or Flying J. It will be professionally managed. That should reduce overcrowding on public trails. We bike in this area now. There are many more hikers and bikers on our trails. Jeffco lacks a dedicated mountain bike spot. We plan 16 miles of trail, 6-15 feet wide, not like a wide ski trail. It will have 830 feet of elevation change. The chairlift will be electric-drive and the noise level will be 70 decibels inside building, like a washing machine.
There’s a meadow, but only one section of the meadow is affected. The Stop the Bike Park sign is not on our property.  There’s a wetland we want to protect. There is a fence now, for a cattle ranch.
Q: Jeffco often requires ponds for wildfire firefighting; she asked if Jeffco is requiring one from them.
A: They haven’t mentioned it.
The State Land Board owns the 300-acre site. They generate money for their trust. They buy, sell and lease land. They do a lot of extraction and oil and gas. They were struggling with what to do with this property. Colorado State Land Trust wants it to generate money. They’ve put $17 million into Jeffco schools over the years, via revenue from leases like ours or selling land. That’s how the land trust and we got together. They were looking for something to do with this 300 acres.
Q: Is this a fit?
A: They think it is a conforming use. It is one mile as the crow flies from Staunton State Park and Flying J Open Space nearly touches it. There are state land trust parcels in Staunton.  They will mitigate the entire 300 acres for wildfire. Bicyclists are not known as a fire risk. The site has had no mitigation, and it is a disaster right now.
We plan no bar, no restaurant. Initially, there was a bar, but we dropped it when the community didn’t like it. There are lots of existing businesses who can sell to the bikers. Thousands of bikers come to this community every year and pay nothing.
Regarding traffic: We plan to manage visitation by managing parking. No more than 300 cars will be allowed. We project under 50 percent capacity on weekdays.
Vehicles on the road number about 2600 a day now; we expect to add 15%. We proposed roadway improvements to the county. We are willing to pay for this.  We are closed in the winter or for unseasonable weather.
Regarding emergency medical services: We will have our own EMS center. We will need local help from the fire department only if a person needs transportation to a hospital. We expect the park to add .12% to incidents.
In response to concerns that the bike park will pay no taxes, he said that Jeffco can impose a fee of up to 28% of lease payments. If we were paying $500,000 to the state land board in lease payments, we would pay $125,000 to Jeffco. (He didn’t say the actual amounts, or how much the fire department would receive.)
I am least concerned about big game. I worked a bit at the Evergreen Golf Course and used large mowing machines. There are lots of people, and lots of elk. It is a safe place for the elk. I am more concerned about managing the riders AND the elk, not driving away the elk.
Q: What if we need to evacuate for a wildfire that starts close by while the park is open?
A: The park won’t open for the day if there is fire nearby. If a fire starts during the day, bikers won’t be packing up a home, just putting a bike on car and get going. In the worst case, we believe it could increase evacuation time by 15 minutes.
We expect to use 500,000 gallons of water per year from a commercial well. A home uses 100,000 gallons per year. (Note: This includes outside watering.) We will have a commercial septic system.
Hours will be 9:30 or 10 to 6 or 6:30.
Q: How do you keep people from illegally accessing the park?
A: The parking reservation system will help. You can put up fences and a ton of signs. I think we will be digitally managing the boundaries. We’ll know if somebody crosses the boundary, and our staff will deal with that by limiting the pass. There will be no road access from the top of the mountain. I don’t think anyone will see the top of the chairlift from their house.
Staunton State Park has 270,000 visitors a year and it is open 24 hours a day. We may have 50,000 visitors a year.
That property is worth $20 million. It won’t stay in its current state.
Updates and Announcements
  • Club Service positions available:
    • Sergeant-at-Arms for June & July - Join the fun at the Tuesday morning meeting by welcoming members!!
    • WebMaster - If you would like to be the webmaster, please email Diana P. for information.
  • Diana: MRC is offering day camp in June, so rotary can’t meet in its current location that month. We need suggestions for alternate locations for June.
  • Stan: Provided update on International Peace Conference: Rotary sponsors about 100 master’s degree fellowships for peace fellows at universities around the world. He’ll send an email with details. Dr. Bernice King and Jennifer Jones spoke.
  • Charlotte: Thank you to everyone who helped at the Health Fair on Saturday. She provided an update on the logistics and outcomes of the event. There were approximately 160 attendees. Next year’s location may be Elk Creek Elementary
  • Ann: Ann and Tim need volunteers for Rotary Wildfire Ready for three events this summer in Conifer and Bailey.
Upcoming Events
  • Rotary Social - May 20 is a social at Tim’s house from 4-8 p.m. Bring Italian food to share and donations for Backpack Project in honor of Yvonne’s birthday.
  • Bailey Days - June 24 and 25; Tim is in charge.
  • Conifer Elevation Celebration - July 29 and 30; Tim is in charge.
  • ConiferFest - Aug. 12; Ann is in charge of volunteers; please contact Ann or Tim to help.
  • Wildfire Training - If you need information about wildfire or want training, there are two events coming up:
    • May 23 at Evergreen High School at 6 p.m., there will be a wildfire forum and questions will be answered.
    • June 3 at 9 a.m. at Evergreen Fire on Bergen parkway, Jess Moore will explain defensible space and home hardening.
Meeting program
Mental Health First Aid Services, Sara Bass of Jefferson Center for Mental Health
We are a nonprofit covering Gilpin, Clear Creek and Jeffco counties, 23 locations, office or school based. We serve anyone and everyone. Also have mobile kiosks and crisis response.
Mental health first aid: Teaches community members to identify and react. Training options include 8 hour all day sessions, which is an internationally recognized certification. Includes 2 hours of pre-work at home. We get grants so it is free to the community; offered monthly. There is a 15-person minimum for a private course. Mostly virtual now. It’s very skills-based. It is quite useful.
Also offer community trainings 1-1.5 hours; topics include de-escalation, trauma care.
Online information at Jefferson County Mental Health First Aid Training link:
Q: How do I know the mobile clinic is coming?
A: Usually find out from school or office clinician or doctor.
Q: What services do you offer?
A: Medication management and therapy, counseling. Preventative care through community engagement etc.
Q: There are lots of people who don’t have a physician. How do you reach those communities, for people who don’t get referrals, and don’t have insurance?
A: We are not for the private sector mostly. We are partnered with hundreds of organizations including Mountain Resource Center. Our navigation team will explore funding for people with no insurance, no Medicaid, etc. Rarely do we have someone who doesn’t get enrolled using Medicaid or something.
Q: Who pays?
A: Several huge fund-raising events and grant funding. 60% of our patients are on Medicaid.
Q: What are the biggest challenges? For example, a mentally ill New York man was killed in the subway.  It sounds like this training is one of the solutions.
A: Yes. There is a lot of fear in interacting with persons with mental health issues, and a lot of fear of asking for help. The average age for first aid trainings is 22-30; other programs skew older.
After the pandemic: People are really reactive. People want language for how to handle escalated situations.
We partner with Red Rocks Community College.
The training talks about how to have the person call us. The person may be suicidal.
Comment from audience: I have taken mental health training. You might see someone flaring out, and not know what to do. It will help you recognize the symptoms before the flaring out. It is really good program, the equivalent of stopping the bleeding.
Q: How do you help people cope with normal life? 
A: I think that is therapy at its finest.
Q: What do you think of this name for our mental health fair in February? “Mindfest: Living your best life.”
A: Members really liked that name.
Updates and Announcements
  • We still need sponsors for ConiferFest, at various levels. FirstBank is in.  5280 is a presenting sponsor. CORE is in.
Meeting program
Domestic Violence, Kelly Andrews, Therapist
Kelly Andrews is a therapist in private practice in Evergreen, specializing in women’s issues, including domestic violence, eating disorders, and social anxieties.
Kelly: One in three women will experience domestic violence. It affects the nervous system, like flight or fight. It makes a person need to be on the lookout for threats; it affects mental health. It damages relationships because the person who is supposed to love us and care for us is putting us in danger. This can affect relationships lifelong.
Once violence has been introduced into a relationship, it’s always there even if it is not actively happening. A person ends up expecting violence and flinching even without anything new happening.
  1. Intimidation: throwing things, banging things, abusing pets.
  2. Emotional abuse: Name-calling, putting her down, wearing down over time.
  3. Isolation: Often people don’t realize it is happening. Like putting a frog in a pot of water and gradually increasing the heat, and the frog doesn’t notice until it’s damaging.
  4. Denial: The perpetrator denies that the incident happened and makes a person forget their own worth. It’s gaslighting, meant to make the woman feel that “My reality is not right, because so often I’m told I am wrong.” It feels like one is going crazy. Then police come and don’t believe the woman, because the man is confident and convincing, and the woman isn’t sure what really happened. This can take a long time to come back from. It takes years to rebuild the feeling that, “I am valid.”
  5. Using the children.
  6. Blaming: It’s your fault.
  7. Economic abuse: This is things like being forced to work and hand over the paycheck. Or not being allowed to work.
  8. Male privilege. This is based on history. Men legally owned their wives, had a duty to punish the wife. It’s the woman against these systems. Not all men are violent. A man can make changes and be a huge help to our society.
  9. Coercion and threats.
Put yourself in these shoes. Imagine constantly living in this, and the depression and PTSD that results.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:
Self-actualization (creativity etc. Not reached by all.)
Safety needs
Physiological Needs
The woman may not be able to sleep due to being alert, afraid. Maybe she is not allowed to eat certain foods or forced to be on a certain diet.
People don’t understand: Why don’t people suffering this just leave? That may mean giving up housing, money for kids, basic needs. If there are ongoing concussions or oxygen deprivation from choking, that can cause disorientation, mental fog. This impedes people from getting help. Perpetrator can be calm, and victim is labeled as crazy or hysteric. Women used to get institutionalized for being hysterical. It may be the result of traumatic brain injury. It’s hard to get out.
Women are seven times more likely to die when they are leaving a relationship. My safety plans are three pages long.
If a woman hits back, she worries that she is escalating the abuse, or that she had a role. Women internalize this.
Be aware that this is going on in our society; and how hard it is to ask for help. Don’t say, “You should leave.” Because it has to be her choice.
Ask, “What do you need from me?” Do you want to leave a go-bag at my house?
Contact info:
Dean: This is symptomatic of our society undervaluing women. Doctors telling women you are not having a heart attack, you’re just hysterical, go bowling. How much of this is part of undervaluing people?
Kelly: Yes, it’s absolutely tied together. Women may be stigmatized for having too many emotions, and men are being stigmatized for the opposite.
Q: I have a friend with a 2-year-old, and she is still parenting with this person, and expressed concern about what’s happening to the 2-year-old. What are the courts doing in this type of situation?
A: Mom may feel like the child is less safe because she is not there to protect the child. Courts sometimes make the wrong decision. This happens to a lot of women, and it is a huge problem.
Stan: There are also kids with both parents who are abusive. It seems like there is nothing in the system to help. It seems like the foster care system is a problem.  Do other societies do better?
A: Often there is a controlling abuser, and the other person lashes back. We live in a more individualistic society; others may have more services.
Ann: I had a friend who left an abuser before I met her. Her father had abused her, and she grew up thinking this was normal, and married an abuser.
A: If the nervous system is constantly feeling threatened, it can’t unwind. The nervous system is no longer able to distinguish that one is no longer under threat. That’s why a soldier with PTSD might be panicking in a supermarket.
Suzanne: We do now have an interim director for Peaceworks, the domestic violence shelter. Apparently, a lot of things have broken down since it was shut down.
Kelly: It’s great that they take pets. That’s often an obstacle to leaving.                  
Suzanne: We built the pens.
Diana: I have been in victim services.   A victim advocate can make all the difference, so victims do not focus on the danger.
Kelly: It’s important to have a victim’s advocate go out on those calls. Women can think they’re not worth anything. But there may be a small light of resistance to that idea. The perpetrator can be very charming. Three women a day die from domestic violence.
Club Meetings
Morning - Are held every Tuesday, 8:00 AM at the Mountain Resource Center on Kitty Drive.
Evening - The next evening meeting will be Wednesday, May 18th at 5:30 PM at Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church in Conifer.
  • We are looking for sponsors for ConiferFest. This funds our grants. Please look for sponsors, and then run them through Marlys and/or Janine. Website is
  • Club Service positions available:
    • Sergeant-at-Arms for June & July - Join the fun at the Tuesday morning meeting by welcome members!!
    • WebMaster - If you would like to be the webmaster, please email Diana P. for information.
  • Mental health and wellness far - Bridget and Yvonne spoke about a plan for a mental health and wellness fair. We want to demystify, de-stigmatize and normalize mental health care.  We’re thinking of everything from aromatherapy and creative journaling, yoga, meditation, therapy dogs. We’ll also have organizations that have resources for mental health, such as Resilience 12-20, Mount Evans hospice, Mountain Resource Center, and a pharmacist to explain drugs. We can have a neuropsych physician to explain how to break a nervous habit, and mental health first aid.
    It will be on Feb. 17, 2024, at Our Lady of the Pines, from 10 to 4. We will finalize the grant application and in mid-May we will do vendor outreach.
    Topics include: “I matter,” and “It’s ok not to be ok.” It will be aimed at adults and youth, LGBTQ, vets.
    Ann suggested a stop smoking unit and an introduction to non-violent communications, but to call it “How to get along with people who disagree with you.” Another title could be “How to cheer yourself up,” instead of “Depression.”
    More suggestions were: Second Wind, UC Health, whole person health, Mind-Body-Spirit connection, love yourself for Valentine’s Day, child psychologist, equine therapy, and pet a puppy. Marketing is essential.
    Diana: Contact Bridget and Yvonne through email through Clubrunner.
Upcoming Socials - All are welcome!
  • May Italian Potluck Social hosted by Tim Berg on May 20 4-8pm.
Welcome back Carrie L.
Upcoming Events
Rotary International Conference - May 27-31, 2023 Melbourne, Australia
Coniferfest - August 12, 2023 In the event field behind Our Lady of the Pine.
Program Rotary Tuesday AM 4.25.23 - Wyatt Yates, Beaver Ranch Community Park
Morti: Welcome Wyatt Yates, who is here to speak about the Beaver Ranch community park. He was a CPA, then worked for a private equity firm. He is president of the board of the non-profit that runs the 450-acre Beaver Ranch Park.
Wyatt Yates: Beaver Ranch Park is jointly managed by us and Jeffco Open Space. We have worked on a master plan. The park is funded by the disc golf company and the zip line operator and rentals for events like weddings.
In the Conifer Area Council survey, people asked for a playground. There is a small one now, with not much shade. The school district told us there are 500 students with physical or mental or behavioral disabilities within a 5-mile radius.
Our vision is a new playground, three times as large, accessible to all. There will be little cubbies, places to roll a wheelchair around or usable with crutches.
We did lots of outreach and now have some designs on the website. Now we are on step two, fundraising. The county is supportive, but it can’t allocate dollars from the budget for playground. Our designs cost $600,000 to $1 million. We’ve applied for some grants. This project checks a lot of boxes for funders. We are working with a fundraiser.
We can incorporate shade with the playground structures.
County is selecting a design/build contractor for the overall project at the park. The event area will become a parking lot, with the trailhead near the front. The project will improve access and pave the roads. It places most of the parking near the entrance. There will be a road to the dog park and Tipi Lodge, but with limited access. Disc golf will get a new pro shop.
We will apply for over $5 million in grants. Jeffco is helping us with grants. Please email us suggestions. Please spread the word.
Jeffco received $1.1 million from the sale of the Broncos, to be used for youth activities. Jeffco is still finalizing the program; and we have contacted them. Also looking at a recreation grant from Covid relief dollars, and Conservation Trust Funds.
Q: Will there be an adult exercise section?
Wyatt: Most playgrounds are set up for a certain age, but we want to incorporate features for teens and adults. We will include STEM items, such as interactive items to touch and feel. It won’t be just traditional play structures, because we have the room. We will have swings for parent and toddler facing each other; and merry-go-rounds at wheelchair height, set up so kids can face the other kids.
Janine: San Jose Rotary built a park that’s incredible.
Wyatt: Our timeline calls for completion about 2025, maybe 2024. Rubberized surfacing has to be installed during the summer. The actual playground only takes a month to build. There will be two shaded structures.
Q: Security?
Wyatt: Two maintenance people and a park director are on site most days. The county has rangers who come in. There also is a ranger at Reynolds Park who comes up quite a bit.
We now get 90,000 visitors a year. About 17% use the playground. We expect that to double. We will use a certified playground installer because there are requirements for fall heights, spacing etc. There could be a 15-year warranty on equipment from the manufacturer.
The lodge needs work, like an ADA bathroom. That’s on hold until we do the playground.
I took a year and a half off with Covid, saw my family and realized I needed to make a change. I took my daughter on her first back-packing trip at age 4 and she went 15 miles the first day. I started my own business called Rugged Financial, which does outsourced accounting for companies. His wife is a professional runner, and her company is called Rugged Running.
Charlotte commented that she has a family wedding due this summer at the park and she loves the space.
Wyatt: It’s one of the most accessible mountain parks in the whole country. Disc golf course is the 11th best in the world. We are thinking we could do a short disc golf course where the current dog park is, so it could be wheelchair accessible.
Janine: We helped get track chairs for Staunton State Park.