Ask Eartha Steward: Celebrate Summit’s green roots
February 27, 2008
This week Ill take a day off of answering questions to invite you to celebrate Summit Countys green roots with the High Country Conservation Centers annual Tim McClure Memorial Benefit on Friday at the Silverthorne Pavilion. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is $20 for adults, and $10 for kids.The event honors the organizations founder, Tim McClure, who was a visionary, recycler, activist, skier, and all around kind soul. Tim founded Summit Recycling Project (the Conservation Centers old name) in 1976 to promote resource recovery and reduce wastefulness in our mountain community. He helped establish the strong environmental ethic that still exists today in our community. Specifically, Tim started the recycling program that still exists today with not much more than an old station wagon and a vision. Today, that recycling program is securely operated by the Summit County government and collects over 20 different materials, has three drop-off centers, and helps to divert about 20 percent of our local waste stream from the landfill. Tim would truly be proud of what this community has accomplished over the past 32 years. I never knew Tim but I have come to know many of his friends and volunteers and am always amazed by the people he touched. Each year, without fail, I find myself at a recycling conference in a big city far away from our mountain home where someone comes up to tell me a story of Tim and how he opened his home or offered his time to help the recycling movement grow.In fact, Tim helped start both the national and state recycling organizations that still exist today, and each year the National Recycling Conference honors a growing community-based recycling program with an award in his name.But my favorite story from the scrapbooks in our office is about Tims attempt to file a mining claim on our Summit County landfill to prove a point about the value of materials that we throw away every day. He went through all of the paperwork with the Forest Service to legitimately file the claim, in hopes that it would spur some action to create a recycling program at our landfill. Thirty years later, when the Summit Materials Recovery Facility was built, I think his vision was realized and he was smiling down from above.Tim didnt just work to support recycling; he was an outspoken activist for energy and water conservation as well. He realized, as we do now, that all of these things are connected and necessary. He saw that Summit County needed to protect the very resources that support its people and its economy. Sadly, Tim left this world with a friend and his dog in an avalanche outside of Breckenridge and was not able to see his dream realized. But Ive felt his presence many times and I think he now knows how his vision, dedication and voice survived to create a community that is proud to call itself green.Please join us this week for an amazing celebration of our green roots in Summit County at the 19th Annual Tim McClure Memorial Benefit for the High Country Conservation Center on Friday.The event features live music with Summit Countys own Timberline bluegrass band, a huge silent auction with a one of a kind green products showcase featuring natural and sustainable products from national, regional and local businesses, and lots of information and inspiring ways to help walk a little lighter on our planet.Hearthstone Catering will tempt our taste buds with foods representing ski countries from around the world. A sample of the menu includes Brie and Strawberry Tartlettes from France, Maple Roasted Pork Tenderloin from Canada, Margherita Pizza from Italy, Venison Meatballs with Cherry and Ancho Barbeque Sauce from Colorado, and Chocolate Fondue from Switzerland.Our own Dillon Dam Brewery will quench our thirst for fine brews and the sustainable winery, Redwood Creek, will delight us with a variety of wines. And for the kids that love to play in the snow (of all ages), a hot chocolate bar will warm our bodies. All proceeds from the event support the operating budget of the High Country Conservation Center which provides services such as Home Energy Audits and programs like Backyard Composting Workshops. For more information, visit our website at http://www.highcountryconservation.org or call (970) 668-5703.Eartha Steward is written by Carly Wier, Jennifer Kirkpatrick and Beth Orstad, consultants on all things eco and chic at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation in our mountain community. Eartha believes that you can walk gently on our planet, even if youre wearing stylie shoes.Submit questions to Eartha at firstname.lastname@example.org or to High Country Conservation Center, PO Box 4506, Frisco, CO 80443.