Ask Eartha: What can I do to help Summit County be greener? | SummitDaily.com

Ask Eartha: What can I do to help Summit County be greener?

Eartha Steward
Ask Eartha

Tim McClure founded the Summit Recycling Project, which is now the High Country Conservation Center. A conservation pioneer, McClure died with friend Steve Field in an avalanche in Little French Gulch in 1985.

Dear Eartha,

I just moved to the High Country and my new year's resolution was to get more involved in local environmental movements. I've always been passionate about sustainability, and living in Summit County has sparked an even greater passion for our environment. What can I do to get more involved?

-Erica, Keystone

Your question could not have come at a better time. First off, welcome. Like many people who make the move to the High Country, I too had a passion for our natural environment already ingrained within me. For most people, this interest only grows once they arrive in our community. Fortunately, organizations such as the High Country Conservation Center offer many opportunities for community members to engage in environmentally focused activities.

For those with a knack for gardening, we have a network of community gardens to take advantage of across the county. A series of gardening workshops are hosted throughout the summer to keep our gardeners engaged and educated.

Whether you're a novice or an expert, this workshop series has something for everyone. If you haven't been blessed with a green thumb, but still wish to support local agriculture, we run a community supported agriculture program as well. Purchasing a share in our CSA supports our professional farmer and her team as they cultivate an impressive variety of fresh-organic produce throughout the growing season just for you.

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Even at home, you can take advantage of several programs to reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Sign up for an energy audit at your property and call us to see if you qualify for a free one. We help over 100 Summit County residents annually understand their home's energy usage and take action to save money.

Then there's our long list of events running throughout the year. Volunteer at fun summer events like the Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival, or the Frisco BBQ Challenge, where we facilitate zero-waste operations.

However, no greater fundraising effort for our programs comes before our annual Tim McClure benefit, held tonight at the DoubleTree Hotel in Breckenridge. Celebrating the life of our founder, the benefit is a great opportunity to support all our conservation efforts at the High Country Conservation Center, and thus, the local environmental movement.

Come enjoy unlimited beer, wine and spirit tastings, the musical stylings of Ms Amy and the Jet Set, and even a belly-dancing fiesta. Additionally, our event will play host to one of the largest silent auctions in Summit County.

Be sure to check out our schedule of upcoming events listed on our website at HighCountryConservation.org and give us a call to purchase your tickets for today's event starting at 6 p.m. VIP tickets, boasting early-entry at 5 p.m. and a limited-edition pint glass, run $50 while regular priced tickets run $35.

Kids under 12 are free and will love our scavenger hunt. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for ongoing updates and ways to stay involved in our community efforts. We'll see you tonight at the DoubleTree!

Ask Eartha Steward is written by the staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable food, waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit questions to Eartha at eartha@highcountryconservation.org.

If you go

What: 28th Tim McClure Benefit

When: 6-9:30 p.m. Friday with VIP entry starting at 5 p.m.

Where: DoubleTree, 550 Village Road, Breckenridge

Info: General admission tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. VIP tickets are $50 and available at HighCountryConservation.org or by calling 970-668-5703.