Happy May everyone! Our summer season kickoff and training session is just around the corner on Saturday, June 8th and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone. I’m especially excited to welcome 30 new volunteers and 2 Wilderness Ranger Interns to their first season with IPWA and the USFS Boulder Ranger District. I also want to welcome back our wonderful returning volunteers. Your dedication and involvement in IPWA programs and activities is the core of our organization and the key to our many years of success. A big thank you to former board chair Stuart Dodd, who served as board chair for the past four years from 2014 - 2018. After reaching the four-year term limit for the board chair position, he stepped down but is continuing to serve in an advisory role and as a mentor to our 2019 summer interns. During his tenure, Stuart spent many tireless hours working with the board and FS partners, working on fundraising campaigns, organizing volunteer programs, mentoring new volunteers and interns, hosting potlucks and board meetings at his home, and meeting with local and state legislators to advocate for the wilderness. In the past four years, we expanded our mission to target four strategic goals of Wilderness Restoration, Education, Advocacy and Patrolling, including launching the Mentorship Program for new volunteers, Trailhead Host Program, Winter Patrol Program, and Wilderness Information Specialist Program (staffing the front desk at the Boulder Ranger District office). We've also conducted many trail restoration and tree clearing projects and expanded our partnerships with groups such as the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, the Wilderness Society, Teens Inc, CU-Boulder, and the UNC Center for Urban Education.
For a look back at the IPWA's 2018 accomplishments, check out our 2018 Annual Report. All the winter snow and rain this year should make for an exceptional season of volunteering as the high country will soon be bursting with new growth, full lakes, wildlife and visitors. Keep it wild! Kelly Prendergast IPWA Board Chair