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In April, Chaffee County Women Who Care (WWC) selected the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) to receive the group’s quarterly donation of $100 per member, for a total of $14,063.

GARNA will use the funds to purchase a “new to GARNA” used van for youth and event recycling programs. Chaffee WWC is composed of almost 140 local women who gather four times per year to select a non-profit to financially support.

GARNA welcomes Katie Davis

GARNA has named Katie Davis as its new Development and Operations Manager. Davis is a returning resident to Chaffee County, having lived here previously during the early 2000’s. Her career has been focused on supporting nonprofit capacity building and leadership, primarily in the animal welfare and conservation sectors. She holds a degree in nonprofit management from the University of Washington and is a Society for Human Resources (SHRM-CP) certified professional. In addition, she has a Master of Science degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management from Western Illinois University.

“I am so grateful to be back in Chaffee County working in a field and sector I love – fundraising, human resources, and conservation. My dream trifecta!” she explains. “For many organizations, much of the past few years has been about stabilizing and surviving and I am excited to be able to support GARNA as they grow and evolve.”

For more than a quarter-century, GARNA has led critical environmental education, sustainability initiatives, and public lands stewardship programs in the Upper Arkansas Valley. GARNA is nature-centered and community-driven, and well respected throughout the communities it serves. GARNA’s culture has been built by the volunteers and land management agencies who serve the public lands of the Upper Arkansas Valley. Its Development and Operations Manager will build on this strong base to expand and deepen GARNA’s impacts.

As part of its 2022 strategic planning, GARNA identified a need to focus on both long-range organizational strategy and holistic program development and evaluation. It anticipates that focusing attention on these complementary areas will allow its impact to grow considerably.

“Diversifying our leadership skill sets and increasing capacity through a Co-Director model will allow GARNA to continue to foster high impact, community-focused programs while strengthening our organizational sustainability,” said Interim Board Chair, Layne Kottmeier. “The Board is excited to have Katie’s community connection and expertise to help co-lead GARNA into its next chapter.”

Through community collaboration, GARNA inspires a conservation ethic by providing educational opportunities and experiences so that those who live, work, and play in the Upper Arkansas Valley are motivated to take care of the natural resources and leave a legacy of responsible use of the natural environment. GARNA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental organization based in Salida, Colorado.

Featured image: Kids gather to celebrate the presentation of the Women Who Care quarterly donation to GARNA in April of this year. Front row left to right: Vivian Erickson, Truman Juba, Lydia Adamec. Back row left to right: Zia Knauer, Marlowe Hill, Dominique Naccarato, Rose Lenth, Coya Romero, Marilyn Bouldin, Lake Secour, Anabelle Soltz, Isaac Lundberg, Maggie Murdoch and Denver Mattfeld.  ​