From the 2020 Annual Report

Board Member Spotlight: Mary Dominick-Coomer

Mary has been a long-time friend to Wilderness Workshop and a dedicated Board Member since 2004. You’re certain to have seen Mary and her husband Sven at our events or out on the trails!

What sparked your interest in Wilderness Workshop?

My father taught my sisters and me Sunday school using Nature as a place of solace and where one could find the “great spirit.” Consequently, Nature has always been a part of my life to honor and protect. After I moved to Aspen, Connie Harvey, one of the three “Maroon Belles” suggested I might be interested in the Workshop. I was because I knew that it not only protected wilderness and public lands but was proactive and invested in stewarding wildlands for the future.

What is the most rewarding part of your role as a Board member?  

Bringing me in contact with others who have a passion for being actively involved in protecting our land and nature as a whole; I find it very rewarding to be directly bringing the message and our goals to others. Fundraising with a purpose is one of my assets and I am fortunate to be acquainted with many of the longtime residents of the area.

Looking ahead, what are you most excited for?

I am excited to see our staff grow in size and professional talents, bringing with them new and creative ideas. One of my projects which has widened our attraction to a diverse group has been the Artist in Wilderness program, which I look forward to resuming after the pandemic. I am thrilled to see the Workshop grow in partnership with other environment and climate-focused organizations.

How does Wilderness Workshop make a difference in our community?

By attracting new members of many different backgrounds and ages; it is important to pass on the interests we carry to future generations. We must engage youth and energetic participation to ensure that our public lands, their biodiversity, and our climate are to be protected. The landscape and its character are what make our community unique, and the reason so many of us have a connection to these special places.

Donor Spotlight: John McBride

You may know John and his wife Laurie from their decades of work to build community and protect the environment in the Roaring Fork Valley or as charming hosts at our annual benefit, Wild Feast. 

Why is protecting public lands important? 

Oh my gosh, because the land is so special. The land deserves it and the wildlife deserves it. We’re incredibly blessed here. 

What’s compelling about the work of Wilderness Workshop?

What’s impressive to me is how caring you are as an organization – whether it’s for our region’s wilderness areas, the opens spaces, or the animals that inhabit them. You do an honor to those places and I really do hold you in high esteem and have for a very long time. 

What would you say to potential donors?

I’d encourage them to give because Wilderness Workshop is more important now than ever before. It’s so important to protect these local places, for the people and the wildlife, and for future generations. Outside interests and money are destroying magnificent places and our community. I can’t say it enough: the role this organization plays really is more important than ever before. 

Why is giving to Wilderness Workshop a priority to you?

For me, it’s really a love of nature- I’ve grown up and spend a lot of time in nature and appreciate it in so many ways – whether it’s in Vermont, in the countryside of Illinois, or eventually when I made my home in the Roaring Fork Valley. I spent my early years in Vail, then was hired to work at Snowmass, and have built my life here – protecting public lands has been a priority every step of the way. Wilderness Workshop and I think alike.