Wednesday, April 14, 2021

H&M Announces Maisie Williams as Global Sustainability Ambassador

H&M has announced a partnership with Maisie Williams to lead a worldwide initiative towards a more sustainable fashion future. In an effort towards meeting the goal of only using recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030, Williams will join H&M throughout the year to drive change in fashion — in the virtual world and real life. Encouraging the reuse, remaking and recycling of unwanted garments– in a united effort to close the loop in fashion.

"I am excited to finally share the news of my partnership with H&M as Global Sustainability Ambassador and cannot wait for you all to see what we have been working on. In this role, I will be working closely with experts within H&M to drive sustainability initiatives and shape the path towards an accessible and circular fashion future. The long term goal is to use 100 percent recycled or other sustainably sourced materials for textiles across the full H&M Group brands by 2030. It’s time to take action and create more viable production circuits in fashion to protect our planet for the next generation", said Maisie Williams, Global Sustainability Ambassador H&M.

Reported STDs Reach All-time High

New data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that reported annual cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States continued to climb in 2019, reaching an all-time high for the sixth consecutive year.

The newly released 2019 STD Surveillance Report found:

  • 2.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, the three most commonly reported STDs in 2019.
  • A nearly 30% increase in these reportable STDs between 2015 and 2019.
  • The sharpest increase was in cases of syphilis among newborns (i.e., congenital syphilis), which nearly quadrupled between 2015 and 2019.

“Less than 20 years ago, gonorrhea rates in the U.S. were at historic lows, syphilis was close to elimination, and advances in chlamydia diagnostics made it easier to detect infections,” said Raul Romaguera, DMD, MPH, acting director for CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “That progress has since unraveled, and our STD defenses are down. We must prioritize and focus our efforts to regain this lost ground and control the spread of STDs.”

STDs can have serious health consequences. People with these infections do not always experience disease symptoms, but, if left untreated, some can increase the risk of HIV infection, or can cause chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, severe pregnancy and newborn complications, and infant death.

CDC’s 2019 data provide the most recent full picture of STD trends in the United States before the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary 2020 data suggest that many of these concerning trends continued in 2020, when much of the country experienced major disruptions to STD testing and treatment services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The STD burden is not equal

The burden of STDs increased overall and across many groups in 2019. But it continued to hit racial and ethnic minority groups, gay and bisexual men, and youth the hardest.

Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups

  • In 2019 STD rates:
    • For African American or Black people were 5-8 times that of non-Hispanic White people.
    • For American Indian or Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander people were 3-5 times that of non-Hispanic White people.
    • For Hispanic or Latino people were 1-2 times that of non-Hispanic White people.

Gay and Bisexual Men

  • Make up nearly half of all 2019 primary and secondary syphilis cases.
  • Gonorrhea rates were 42 times that of heterosexual men in some areas.

Young People Aged 15–24 years

  • Make up 61% of chlamydia cases.
  • Make up 42% of gonorrhea cases.

“Focusing on hard-hit populations is critical to reducing disparities,” said Jo Valentine, MSW, associate director of the Office of Health Equity in CDC’s Division of STD Prevention. “To effectively reduce these disparities, the social, cultural, and economic conditions that make it more difficult for some populations to stay healthy must be addressed. These include poverty, unstable housing, drug use, lack of medical insurance or regular medical provider, and high burden of STDs in some communities.”

'A Letter to Harvey Milk' Streams April 22-25

The Off-Broadway musical, A Letter to Harvey Milk, presented at Theatre Row in 2018, will be presented as a benefit online beginning April 22 at 7 PM and running through 25, 2021. Money raised will benefit the Actors Fund, and HIAS. Tickets are $10-$50 and can be purchased by visiting

San Francisco. 1986. What could Harry, an amiable but lonely retired kosher butcher, have in common with Barbara, his young lesbian writing teacher at the senior center? Is it enough to bridge the divide?

When Harry fulfills a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone from his past who's dead, he writes not to his late wife Frannie but Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California. Barbara is stunned. Harry's letter evokes life-changing revelations that neither could have foreseen. With its soaring score and deeply-felt, surprisingly funny lyrics, this musical deals with issues of friendship and loss, the grip of the past, and the hard-won acceptance set in motion by the most unexpected people.

Colorado Schools Gather Virtually to Fight Suicide

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 15-24, yet suicide can be prevented. Schools across Colorado are joining the thousands of people who are gathering virtually in towns throughout the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.

This year’s Colorado Out of the Darkness Campus Walk, hosted by the Colorado Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will be held virtually on April 24th at 11 a.m. This virtual gathering will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s education and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20% by the year 2025.

“Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by connecting with one another online, we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Chris Peterson, chair of the 2021 AFSP Colorado Virtual Campus Walk.

The AFSP Colorado Virtual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk is one of hundreds of events being held nationwide this year.

“These events are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “ The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.”

To donate or join this event, visit:

Monday, April 12, 2021

Pre-registration Now Open for Gay Games Hong Kong

Pre-registration is now open for Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022.

Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022’s (GGHK) unique combination of sport, arts, culture, fun and community brings together diverse groups of people to experience moments of joy. It will create unity and positive attitudes that will last a lifetime in Hong Kong, Asia and beyond under our belief of “Unity In Diversity”.

GGHK will take place on 11-19 November 2022 for the first time in Asia. We are expecting 12,000 participants, 75,000 spectators and 3,000 volunteers from 100 countries. There are 36 sports including new events; Dragon Boat Racing, Dodgeball, eSports, and Trail Running, Opening & Closing Ceremonies, Festival Village, and Arts & Culture events with daily performances, a Gala Concert, LGBTQ+ art exhibitions, and a variety of events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Gay Games. Everyone is welcome to participate regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, or background. GGHK is organised and funded by the community, participants, commercial partners and sponsors. Supporting organisations include the Equal Opportunities Commission, BrandHK, InvestHK and the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Campus Pride and PFLAG National Announce Date for National LGBTQ Lavender Graduation

Today, Campus Pride and PFLAG National announced they are partnering for a second year to host a live virtual commencement ceremony to honor LGBTQ and ally graduates across the country. The national LGBTQ Lavender Graduation ceremony will be held Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 3 p.m. Eastern / 12 p.m. Pacific. The free event will be live-streamed at, on Campus Pride social media channels, and on PFLAG National’s Facebook page.

The National LGBTQ Lavender Graduation ceremony aims to celebrate the achievements of LGBTQ and ally college students who are graduating this year, and to show these students that they have a community of support moving into the next chapter of their lives.

Juilliard Launches Streaming Initiative to Share Performances With a Global Audience

Handel's Teseo on the Peter Jay Sharp Theater stage on February 4, 2021 (photo courtesy of Juilliard) 

Juilliard announces the launch of Juilliard LIVE, a new streaming initiative offering performances from across its three divisions—music, dance, and drama—online to a global audience. The broad initiative, part of the school’s long-term strategic plan, was accelerated over the past year when indoor performances were halted due to the pandemic. With a mix of livestreamed and on-demand content, Juilliard LIVE expands student performance opportunities both now and in the future, and it will increase accessibility to the performing arts for audiences around the world.

“Over the past year, our students, faculty, and staff have constantly demonstrated both artistry and creative innovation, even under the most difficult circumstances,” said Juilliard President Damian Woetzel. “Since starting a year ago with Bolero Juilliard, our first major foray onto the digital stage, the momentum has continued as we have found new ways to craft artistically meaningful performances. As a next step we now can through Juilliard LIVE make these performances accessible to a global audience via on-demand programming and livestreaming, which is vitally important for our students as they prepare to launch into their careers as the performing artists of the future.”

Student recitals are currently being streamed live through the Juilliard website with additional performances from all departments and divisions to be offered starting on April 13 as on-demand streaming content captured in on-campus and remote environments. Performances will represent orchestra, vocal arts, jazz, historical performance, chamber music, composition, conducting, dance, drama, and playwriting departments. All performances can be accessed through the Juilliard website at, and on-demand performances will also be added to the Juilliard website media gallery and the Juilliard YouTube channel as they become available.

Highlights from programs to be presented later this spring include New Dances: Edition 2020-21 with guest choreographers Matthew Neenan, Tiler Peck, Bobbi Jene Smith, and Sonya Tayeh, featuring works composed by Creative Associates Caroline Shaw and Nico Muhly among others; members of the Juilliard Orchestra performing works by Mozart, Dvořák, and William Grant Still conducted by Xian Zhang; guest harpsichordist Kristian Bezuidenhout directing Juilliard415 from the keyboard in a program of Purcell, Bach, and Telemann; the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra conducted by Loren Schoenberg, and the Duke Ellington Ensemble performing the music of Wynton Marsalis and Ben Wolfe; and much more.

There are currently over 250 events including student recitals scheduled to stream live from Juilliard’s performing spaces this spring, with additional performances to be announced on a monthly basis. From Juilliard’s livestream calendar, viewers can access performances, add future events to their calendars, sign up to be alerted to new offerings via email, and make contributions in support of the next generation of performing artists.

All performances are streamed or captured under Juilliard’s stringent health guidelines for the safety of students, faculty, and staff.

OUT on VOD: LGBTQ Music Documentary “The Glamour and the Squalor”


The Glamour and the Squalor is available now for audiences to stream on Amazon Prime, Vudu, Tubi and other streaming platforms along with across TVOD platforms iTunes, Fandango Now, Google Play, YouTube, to name a few.

Marq Evans groundbreaking music LGBTQ documentary The Glamour and the Squalor, following the life of legendary DJ Marco Collins who discovered the music that defined a generation. Collins’ whose credited for helping break the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Beck, Weezer, Beck, Chemical Brothers, and countless others. The documentary features Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Beck, and many others from the unparalleled alternative rock scene of the early ’90s have Marco Collins to thank for their commercial success. Addicted to rock and roll and its lifestyle, he helped usher a new music scene onto Pacific Northwest radio, while he also waged a decade-long battle with addiction and struggled with his sexuality. 

The documentary, featuring the city of Seattle also showcases archival footage of the bands that shaped a generation and interviews with the greatest of yesterday and today—Shirley Manson, Ben Gibbard, Carrie Brownstein, and many others—help curate the passionate life of one of the last great rock radio DJs.

LGBTQ+ talk show, "Brunch Date" Launches April 11

Stan Zimmerman (The Golden Girls, Gilmore Girls) has teamed with Kristen Carroll, founder of Spotlight Productions (SpoPro) to host a new LGBTQ+ talk show, Brunch Date With Stan & Kristen. The limited run test launch premieres on streaming channels Tello and CampTV this Sunday, April 11.

Brunch Date will feature celebrity guests, witty banter, shade for days, cocktails, games and all the camp you can handle without having to pitch a tent. Each week will also feature a topical, human-interest story involving local heroes, sheroes, and theiros.

Guests on the first four episodes include two-time Emmy nominee Mindy Sterling (The Austin Powers film series, The Goldbergs), Liz Torres (Gilmore Girls, The John Larroquette Show), Candis Cayne (Dirty Sexy Money, I Am Cait) and Amanda Bearse (Married…with Children, Fright Night, The Big Gay Sketch Show).

“I like to think of Brunch Date as a more butch version of Ryan & Kelly,” said Carroll, “and I couldn’t be more thrilled or honored to have Stan as my Kelly.”


NMAC strongly supports the White House’s request for a $670 million increase in funding for HIV prevention, treatment, and equitable access to care.

“This is fantastic news for the fight against HIV,” said Paul Kawata, Executive Director for NMAC. “The Biden/Harris Administration is living up to their word that the federal plan to end the HIV epidemic would be a priority under their leadership. This additional funding will help bring greater access to HIV care and prevention services to those communities bearing the greatest burden of the epidemic. We are also pleased to see that the administration is making a commitment to equitable access to services, something that is desperately needed in communities of color and among LGBTQ+ people of color. We could not be more pleased about this announcement and we urge Congress to approve the full funding requested.”

NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced their mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

One Colorado: Colorado offers a unique way to support causes you care about

By Garrett Royer, Development Manager, One Colorado

The program is called ReFund CO and it puts you in charge of where your tax refund goes. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3:
1. Decide how much of your refund to donate.
2. Enter One Colorado Education Fund and our registration number 20123007194 in the "Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund line" on your state income tax return or tax software – or just give this info to your tax preparer when you share your tax documents.
3. Smile knowing you’ve helped a cause that matters to you!

As always, we’re so grateful for your support in any form and hope you’ll consider donating to support our mission of creating a fair and just state for all! Thank you.

P.S. Whether or not you're able to donate, you can still help us out by completing this brief survey to help us better serve our supporters.

Colorado is the Choice Destination for Travelers Who Want To Reduce Impact

With interest in resource-friendly travel surging across the globe, “conscious travelers” need look no farther than Colorado to find an unparalleled collection of ways to travel while leaving a lighter carbon trail.

As the first U.S. state travel office to develop a comprehensive destination stewardship plan aimed at inspiring travelers to reduce their impacts, the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO), along with destinations across the state, is creating distinctive opportunities for people who love travel to visit responsibly and leave places better than they found them.

Colorado already is home to two U.S. cities powered 100 percent by renewable energy, meaning travelers to both Aspen and Glenwood Springs can enjoy a vacation with little carbon impact. Denver is consistently ranked among the most sustainable cities in the country, and Breckenridge just announced that it will join Vail as two of only three sustainable mountain resort destinations in the world.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has set Colorado on a path to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 and is positioning Colorado as a leader in the clean energy economy, building out a network of fast-charging stations to power electric vehicles and paving the way for even more low-impact travel opportunities in the future.

The Colorado Tourism Office has been working closely with the Colorado Energy Office to prioritize construction of electric vehicle charging stations along the state’s 26 Scenic and Historic Byways, which wind throughout Colorado. Six of the 26 already are available for electric-vehicle travel, with at least another six ready to go by late summer.

With the renewed excitement around a post-vaccine return to travel, the Colorado Tourism Office is making it easy for Colorado travelers to find plenty of ways to visit responsibly:

‘Colo-Road Trips’: The “Colo-Road Trips” microsite on is a searchable, online collection of hundreds of multi-day itineraries aimed at inspiring travel in less-visited destinations and seasons. It’s a great way for travelers to find their way to lesser-known, fun and inspiring Colorado destinations. Search by your favorite activity, city or time of the year. Each multi-day trip idea includes great places to stay and eat and fun things to do, along with a “Sustainability Activity” and “Insider Tips,” giving visitors the downlow on traveling like a local.

Colorado Scenic & Historic Byways: Launched last May, the Colorado Scenic & Historic Byways microsite provides videos, photos, maps, itineraries and other inspiration for exploring Colorado’s 26 spectacular byways, more than any other state in the U.S. Watch for updates in coming weeks about how to explore Colorado’s growing number of “electric byways,” roadways that are deemed ready for travel by electric-powered vehicles.

Care for Colorado and Do Colorado Right: In a first-of-its-kind partnership, the CTO joined forces with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in 2018 to create the Care for Colorado Principles to educate visitors and residents about traveling the state responsibly. Visitors can learn how to Care for Colorado in the CTO’s “Are You Colo-Ready?” brochures, a collection of animated videos, in CTO publications, in all 10 Colorado Welcome Centers and on the Care for Colorado microsite. The seven Care for Colorado Principles aim to inspire low-impact travel, from the care of Colorado trails and mindful interaction with wildlife to the use of refillable beverage containers. Visitors are also encouraged to “Do Colorado Right” and embrace the state’s new interpretation of responsible tourism — showing care not only for destinations but for others, including the people who call Colorado home.

Below is a sampling of low emissions travel options, local food and drink offerings, ways to recreate responsibly, low impact experiences, ways to give back and eco lodging options from across Colorado. Find more information about all of these responsible travel opportunities and more on

Explore Low Emissions Travel Offerings:

Buses and Shuttles: With service just launched in March, United Airlines is making it easier for customers to travel to Breckenridge and Fort Collins with convenient year-round ground transportation service from its hub at Denver International Airport. Boulder offers free Park to Park Shuttles on summer weekends connecting Boulder to Rocky Mountain National Park, Chautauqua, Eldorado Canyon State Park and Indian Peaks Wilderness. Book a Groome Transportation shared-ride shuttle to Denver International Airport (DIA), which uses cleaner burning propane-powered vehicles. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) has introduced 8 battery powered electric buses to a fleet offering free rides from a collection of stops between Aspen, Snowmass, Glenwood Springs, Eagle and Rifle.

Trains: Colorado has numerous scenic and historic railroads and train travel offerings. New in 2021, The Rocky Mountaineer will bring its first U.S. luxury train journeys to Colorado with a two-day rail journey between Denver and Moab with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs. The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway will reopen in spring 2021 after a multi-year hiatus for reconstruction. Recognized as the world’s highest cog railroad, the Railway is one of Colorado Springs’ top attractions and since 1891, has taken thousands of people to the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak.

Cycling and E-Bikes: This summer, visitors can bike or walk through downtown Denver to experience a route the locals call the 5280 Trail. The 5280 Trail is an envisioned 5.280-mile recreational biking and walking route connecting fun Denver neighborhoods. Locally owned since 1978, Recycled Cycles in Fort Collins is “Colorado’s largest Earth-friendly bicycle store.” Aurora, Colorado, is home to Pedego Southlands – a fully-equipped rental service for electric bikes. Enjoy a cruise around Steamboat Springs on an electric bike from Pedego Electric Bikes and find e-bike mountain bike rentals at Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare or Ski Haus. Aspen Skiing Company opened a Maroon Bells Basecamp visitor center at the base of Aspen Highlands that offers e-bikes for rent as an alternative to taking the bus to the Maroon Bells. Explore other e-bike rentals in towns across Colorado as an alternative to driving your gas-powered vehicle to a trailhead parking lot. In 2020, Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley was designated a Gold-Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), the first in Colorado and only seventh in the world.

EV Vehicles and Charging: Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental will begin offering up to 10 electric vehicles between their fleets at the Eagle County Airport before the end of 2021, and Arapahoe Basin has also agreed to provide a $40 gift card for an electric vehicle rented at Eagle County Airport. The Town of Breckenridge has recently installed more than 20 public electric vehicle charging ports and will add 40 more this fall with the completion of the South Gondola parking structure. In support of Frisco Town Council sustainable environment goals, the Town of Frisco’s Green Team and Public Works Department installed a two-port electric vehicle charging (EVC) station. The City of Aspen owns and operates a total of 65 charging stations and 8 public charging stations. Aspen plans to develop an EV Infrastructure Master Plan by summer laying out Aspen’s five-year plan for creating public charging stations.

Support Local Food and Drink Systems:

Food Trails:
Launching in April 2021, the Liquid Arts Passport provides consumers with discounted tastings and offers from breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries across the state. The Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway showcases the orchards, lavender gardens, vineyards, wineries and fresh farm market fruit stands in Colorado’s Mountains and Mesas region. The Boulder County Farm Trail showcases ways that visitors can pick berries, tour farms, pet the animals, buy produce from farm stands, tour a goat dairy and bike to a farm for lunch or dinner. The Roaring Fork & Farm Map is a printed pocket guide to Carbondale’s agritourism offerings that include guest ranches, public gardens and farms, visitor attractions and experiences, along with restaurants and retailers that were identified as specifically supporting the local food movement through menu items or connections with local farmers.

Farmers Markets: Arkansas Valley farmers work hard on their farms all season to grow a wide variety of produce – corn, watermelons, cantaloupes and much more - sold at a variety of area farm markets. Boulder County Farmers Markets (BCFM) 2021 in-person farmers market season kicked off on April 3 when its Boulder and Longmont, locations opened with a bounty of fresh produce, fruit, meats, packaged goods, plants and more. The Grand Junction "Market on Main" Farmer's Market is slated to return Thursdays from June 24 - September 29. Live music and local produce make this weekly event a favorite for locals and visitors alike. Discover the source of locally grown food at ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch, a 113-acre wildlife preserve and educational ranch in Basalt. In the summer, the ranch’s produce, meat, and eggs are available at the Basalt Sunday Market, or enjoy a farm-to-table dinner.

Toast to Sustainability: Marble Distilling Co. in Carbondale has partnered with global innovator Siemens to become the most sustainable, zero-waste distillery. The Colorado Farm Brewery in Alamosa is one of the only breweries to produce 100 percent of its ingredients on the farm where the beer is made. Peach Street Distillers in Palisade utilizes local fruits and grains raised by devoted area growers and often upcycles local fruits that some foolishly deem “too ripe” for market.

Recreate Responsibly:

Breckenridge Announces Certification as a Sustainable Mountain Resort Destination:
Breckenridge is the third destination in the world to be certified to the Mountain IDEAL sustainable destination standard. Additionally, Breckenridge’s adherence to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) destination criteria makes it the third Certified Sustainable Destination in the United States certified by a GSTC-Accredited certifying body, Green Destinations. Their certification marks the culmination of two years of leadership by the Breckenridge community in progressive environmental conservation policies and programs.

Crested Butte Area Drainages Move to Designated Camping: Starting in summer, the U.S. Forest Service in coordination with the Gunnison County Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee (STOR) will transition camping offerings in the Crested Butte area. The Crested Butte Conservation Corps is working alongside the U.S. Forest Service and STOR to install designated camping sites, kiosks, toilets, site posts, a parking spot and fire rings. As these amenities are added, there will be a transition to an online reservation system by summer of 2022 that will include a fee. While this new management approach will take a bit of adjustment, in the long run it will improve the user experience and protect the destination’s natural resources.

Hanging Lake Trail Reopens to Permitted Hikers: Hanging Lake Trail will reopen to permitted hikers following initial assessments and trail stabilization in the aftermath of last summer’s Grizzly Creek Fire. Reservations to hike Hanging Lake are now available. To enhance the hiking experience, prevent damage to the trail and protect the environment for future generations, a reservation system was implemented in 2019.

Rocky Mountain National Park Will Pilot Timed Entry May 28 Through October 11: Rocky Mountain National Park will be implementing a new pilot timed-entry system beginning May 28. Passes for visitors to enter the park will be on sale through

Take in a Low-Impact Experience:

Dark Skies:
Colorado is home to seven International Dark Sky Parks and three International Dark Sky Communities, including Mesa Verde National Park that received its International Dark Skies Park designation in April 2021, the 100th Park to receive this honor. Colorado Stargazing: Experience the Night Tour maps out specific locations around the state known for their dark skies and connects them for a magical, once-in-a-lifetime road trip. The tour, which is considered to be the first of its kind nationwide, highlights rural communities, lesser-known parks and isolated mountain towns. New for 2021, get your pod together and make a reservation for a private star party at the Smokey Jack Observatory in Westcliffe. For those who can’t make it to Westcliffe, you can still experience their dark skies through a virtual star party. Just one mile west of La Veta is the Southern Colorado Astronomical Park, a crossroads of ancient and modern astronomy, including a stone calendar and two observatory structures.

Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center to Be the Most Sustainable High Altitude Structure in the Country: The new 38,000-square-foot Pikes Peak Summit Complex will include a newly designed and reconstructed Summit Visitor Center, elevating the experience for visitors who summit Pikes Peak via car, bicycle, foot or rail. A top priority of the new building is caring for the summit’s environment. Various design features work to preserve the natural state of the mountain while also accommodating visitors. For example, the elevated exterior walkways allow for the recovery of the summit’s fragile tundra ecosystem. The project is also striving to become the first Living Building Challenge-certified project in Colorado with sustainable design aspects focused on energy, building materials, resilience, site ecology, site water and wastewater. It also aims to achieve net-zero energy, net-zero waste and net-zero water consumption and is designed to save more than 350,000 gallons of water per year over the past system.

Walking Mountains Science Center, Avon: Walking Mountains Science Center provides locals and visitors from Pre-K to gray with opportunities to explore nature, gain scientific understanding, and learn about the many wonders of the mountain environment through natural science and sustainability programs. Walking Mountains envisions a future where everyone understands the science of nature and is inspired to take action as an environmental steward.

Give Back to Colorado:
1% for Trails, Cañon City: Fremont Adventure Recreation (FAR) began the 1% for Trails program in 2016 as a method of creating a substantial and sustainable funding source for trail systems in the Royal Gorge Region. This program is tailored for each participating business, allowing customers to opt-in or opt-out. Donations are designated by FAR for trail building and maintenance programs.

Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP): OSMP Volunteer Services provides programs, projects and events to community members and organizations year-round. OSMP connects with the community through offering many opportunities for people to give back to the land in meaningful ways.

Colorado Fourteeners Initiative: Colorado is endowed with 58 mountains whose peaks rise at least 14,000 feet above sea level — more than any other state in the continental U.S. The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative is a nonprofit, volunteer-dependent organization that helps restore and maintain the trails and fragile plant life. Volunteer vacations range from three-day trail builds while camping near the work site to wildflower-seed collection, where the seeds from native flowers will be used to repopulate barren trails.

Colorado Mountain Bicycle Association (COMBA): COMBA is dedicated to building new singletrack trails and helping land managers maintain current trails. COMBA started out as the Trail Conservation Services in 1991 maintaining trails, and to this day building and maintaining trails is one of their main goals.

Copper’s Play It Forward Wednesdays: Through a Play It Forward Wednesdays program, Copper donates $5 per discounted lift ticket purchased online, in advance on Wednesdays throughout the season to 13 different non-profit partners. This is a great opportunity for guests to take advantage of mid-week discounted lift tickets while also helping to raise money for well-deserving organizations throughout Colorado.

Friends of Breckenridge Trails: The Friends of Breckenridge Trails offers a way to provide a helping hand in the upkeep of fragile habitats, open spaces, and trail systems unique to Breckenridge. Through vital volunteer efforts offered throughout the summer, open spaces, trails, historic sites, and ecologically sensitive areas are maintained and restored, thereby creating fun opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to make a unique memory and give back.

Friends of Twin Lakes, Inc. (FOTL) is a non-profit organization focused on preserving the area’s many historically significant aspects and working with the Forest Service and local governments to build and maintain trails in southern Lake County. Visitors can volunteer and also donate.

Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Vacation with CBGTrails: Visitors to Gunnison-Crested Butte most likely arrive via a car or plane that burns fossil fuels. Through a new program unique to the Gunnison Valley, travelers can now offset the environmental impact of their trips by tracking a ride, hike or run on the CBGTrails app. For every carbon-free mile reported, there will be an offset of 22 pounds of carbon. It’s easy and free. Download CBGTrails to get started!

Rocky Mountain Field Institute: Rocky Mountain Field Institute actively engages thousands of community volunteers every year through the completion of trail and restoration projects that help conserve and protect the state’s treasured public landscapes.

Steamboat’s Taking Care of 2A Trails: Resident riders and trail-focused guests to Steamboat Springs continue to benefit from new trails created using public funding from Initiative 2A. Steamboat Springs’ officials recently introduced new “donation stations” — refurbished parking meters with credit card readers — at 11 popular local trailheads, as well as a portable station on wheels for local events. The stations give visitors and locals a simple way to support the maintenance of local trails. Look for stations at these 2A Trails: Spring Creek in the Buffalo Pass area, and NPR and Wild Rose on Emerald Mountain.

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC): Since 1984, VOC has been motivating and enabling people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. VOC works with conservation and land agencies and relies on thousands of people annually to provide a volunteer workforce for outdoor stewardship projects.

We Don’t Waste, Colorado: We Don’t Waste is a Colorado non-profit with a dual focus: keeping perishable food out of landfills and delivering food to feed the hungry. The organization has grown to a full staff and a fleet of refrigerated trucks, recovering more than 144 million servings of perishable food from grocery stores, caterers, restaurants, stadiums and meal prep services and delivering to local agencies.

Wildlands Restoration Volunteers: Wildlands Restoration Volunteers is a nonprofit organization that provides an opportunity for people to come together, learn about their natural environment, and take direct action to restore and care for the land.

Sleep Sustainably
Badger Creek Ranch, Canon City: Badger Creek Ranch raises grass-fed, grass-finished beef and lamb and pasture-raised pork and poultry. They also offer seasonal guest lodging and teach horsemanship. They believe that sustainable agriculture means being responsible stewards of the land and are part of a coalition of ranchers and public agencies working to regenerate the Badger Creek Headwaters watershed that flows into the Arkansas river—undoing the damage from the poor land use practices of the past by taking steps to reduce soil erosion and restore ecological vigor and diversity to this brittle grassland environment. Carefully managed grazing practices, symbiotic with rangeland health, play a central role.

C Lazy U Ranch, Granby: Colorado’s premier luxury guest ranch, C Lazy U, serves as each guest’s private national park with 8,500 acres of adventure. Working in tandem with The Nature Conservancy to ensure lasting protection of the Great American West and its wild nature, C Lazy U Ranch has placed an additional 1,221 acres under permanent easement as of 2020. Actively advocating for environmental friendliness, the ranch sources all of its water from nearby Mount Baldy’s natural springs. Guests are also given a reusable water bottle upon check-in to encourage drinking of the fresh water and eliminate plastic waste. Another sustainable initiative at the ranch is reclaiming beetle kill lumber found onsite to renovate wood floors in guest cabins and build beautiful wood accent pieces.

Monarch Casino, Black Hawk: Sustainable initiatives have always been at the forefront of Monarch Casino Resort Spa’s brand-new $390 million luxury expansion. One that’s unique and exciting to Black Hawk is the in-progress creation of a monarch butterfly habitat across Monarch’s property. In partnership with the Butterfly Pavilion, and as finishing touches to construction end on the resort’s expansion, the focus will turn to planting a butterfly sanctuary with butterfly-friendly flowers. Monarch Casino offers electric vehicle charging stations for guests. Inside, Monarch Casino Resort Spa is proud to continue its industry-leading sustainability efforts with the installation of state-of-the-art Vivreau water systems using on-site water to produce great-tasting still or carbonated water for Monarch’s guests, eliminating nearly all single-use plastics.

The Pad, Silverthorne: A boutique hotel/hostel opening this summer is on track to becoming Colorado’s first B Corp-certified lodging property. Constructed with up-cycled shipping containers and a commitment to the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, The Pad was recently certified as a pending B Corp with plans of achieving the full B Corp certification next year. Widely recognized as the gold standard for sustainability in business, B Corp businesses, like The Pad, Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia, are committed to practicing the highest social and environmental standards. The Pad’s team incorporated sustainable building techniques, committed to composting, selected a restaurant partner who serves Colorado-grown and -raised food, purchased eco-friendly, sustainable products, expanded their bar program to serve wine, cocktails and kombucha on tap along with craft beer and made the decision to use their business as a force for good.

SCP Hotel, Colorado Springs: Standing for Soul, Community, Planet, SCP Hotel was born out of a vision to help make the world a better place by serving those who value personal wellness, social good and the environment. SCP merges earth-friendly and socially responsible practices with modern, clean lodging accommodations and nutritious ‘vegan-forward’ food choices. They also give trees back to the forests through their "One Tree: One Forest" program.

St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder: An industry leader in sustainability, St Julien Hotel & Spa employs a dedicated in-house “Green Team” who sets and achieves various environmental goals, including minimizing overall waste and utilizing eco-friendly products and practices, while each of the hotel’s outlets – from spa to dining – offer a variety of vegan and plant-based treatments, dishes and cocktails.

The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, Avon: The Westin is proud to be Colorado’s first LEED Silver certified hotel. Featuring Tesla EV charging stations, summer guests can rent bikes from the resort’s on-site Beaver Creek Sports (path bikes, trailers and kids bikes available) to explore the 40-mile Eagle River trail that runs directly in front of the resort. After a fun Vail Valley day, relax in The Westin Riverfront’s saline-based outdoor pool and three infinity hot tubs. At dinner in Maya, enjoy modern Mexican dishes featuring fresh produce harvested from the resort’s on-site garden.

Weston Pass Hut, Leadville: Those seeking a unique off-grid overnight experience should check out the Weston Pass hut, set at 11,950’. This remote escape is built with locally harvested and milled beams and an earth-covered, naturally insulated tundra roof. Hikes from this high perch look out to the tops of the Sawatch and Mosquito ranges, including Colorado’s two highest peaks, showcasing Mother Earth’s splendor.

Zapata Ranch, Mosca: Zapata Ranch is owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed by Ranchlands in a partnership model that emphasizes environmental conservation practices. Located on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, the ranch borders the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Home to a conservation herd of bison that run in a single 50,000 acre pasture, the ranch also runs a herd of Angus mother cows. Additionally, the ranch has a 17-bedroom lodge that welcomes guests from around the world to learn about ranching’s role in preserving and protecting these natural landscapes.