Poudre Heritage Alliance

Promote, Engage, Inspire

aka Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area   |   Fort Collins, CO   |  www.poudreheritage.org

Mission

The Poudre Heritage Alliance serves the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area - one of 49 cultural and natural landscapes established by Congress as irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area tells the story of the river that set historic water law in the West - sharing the long struggle to sustain a viable agricultural economy and meet the growing needs of a diverse and expanding population, while conserving the Poudre River’s health. The goal of the Poudre Heritage Alliance is to build a deeper understanding of the Poudre River’s national significance including its role in influencing water development, water law, and water management, through philanthropy, partnerships, community engagement, media and interpretation.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Kathleen Benedict

Main address

3745 E. Prospect Rd Ste. 205

Fort Collins, CO 80525 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-4507550

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

History is our collective memory, a source of wisdom and strength we can draw on when we need it. And we need it now more than ever, precisely because the challenges we face are so complicated and intractable. Perhaps the largest challenge facing the Western US, if not the globe, is water. Water makes life possible and is essential for economies to function. But, freshwater resources are in jeopardy due to growing demand, pollution and climate change. These pressures create profound risks for businesses and communities. We can't possibly navigate a topic as large as this without some sense of perspective, and some help from the past. We believe that "From our water heritage flows a vibrant future."

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Heritage Culturalist Program

What makes a sense of place – and how do you empower everybody in a community to feel proud of, and able to contribute to, where they live, work and play? By helping people understand, value and share their collective heritage.

Heritage is the story that puts history into some kind of narrative. Heritage from the past helps us collectively or individually to understand the present and create a better future. And, volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who participate in our Heritage Culturalist™ Program help people understand and engage with the rich history and recreation opportunities of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area.

Population(s) Served
Adults

On the Trail to Health, Heritage & Happiness™ provides options for young and old to learn about local history and heritage while getting outdoors and exercising on a year-round basis.

We have created twelve “Wellness Routes” along the 45-mile Poudre River Trail and will continue to create more. These pre-established activity routes facilitate good health, connections to history and heritage, and a sense of well-being.

The program includes both an Employee Wellness Program and a School Field Trip Program.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

Learning in Our Watershed is a field trip grant program that assists schools in Weld and Larimer County with scholarships to local heritage destinations where students can learn more about the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area and. Approved field trip destinations include learning center, museums, and historical points of interest.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Poudre River has been counted on for moments of great drama, and for attracting its share of characters. The river has many stories to share, and through our Heritage Trails Program we will elevate those stories in a cohesive manner throughout the river corridor.

Through the Heritage Trails Program we will create cohesive branding, storytelling and visitor wayfinding throughout the river corridor. Interpretive signs and viewing areas next to the river will enable visitors to understand more clearly the messages of history, the environment, or a nearly forgotten culture. Also, the Heritage Trails Program will incorporate gateways that will connect the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area to adjacent town sites, historic structures, natural areas, recreational opportunities, and more.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups

The Cache la Poudre River offers abundant opportunities for a broad spectrum of river users. Yet, most people don’t understand the power of moving water that can exert great amounts of pressure. And, exposure to cold water from melting snow packs can quickly lead to hypothermia that lowers the body’s core temperature and can be lethal.

The increasing population and visitation to Northern Colorado has sparked a rise in river users, and a corresponding rise in river-related assists, rescues and fatalities. The swift-water rescue teams within the Poudre Fire Authority and Larimer County have their work cut out for them and our Play It Safe on the Poudre Program is designed to support their efforts in keeping river users safe and secure.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students

Water makes life possible and is essential for economies to function. But, freshwater resources are in jeopardy due to growing demand, pollution and climate change. These pressures create profound risks for businesses and communities. We can’t possibly navigate a topic as large as this without some sense of perspective, and some help from the past.

The 1883 Fort Collins Water Works is a direct link to that past. By restoring the 23-acre site and transforming it into a comprehensive Water Interpretive Center we can connect people to their history and water heritage, and empower them to become more informed guardians of their water resources.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Some people value the Poudre River mainly as a working river--for agricultural, municipal and industrial needs. Others value its rich recreational opportunities and ecological attributes. Yet, everyone wants a river that meets human needs AND is a healthy river in its own right.

Each year, the Poudre River Forum gathers a diverse group of some 300 stakeholders together on the topic of the Poudre River to explore the continuing challenges and opportunities for collaboration.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

Pass through in a car and you’ll only scratch the surface of what the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area has to offer. From giant cottonwoods, soaring eagles and hawks, sparkling lakes and rivers, to learning about the history of water use in Colorado, our biking adventures are always original and engaging rides that explore fascinating landmarks and landscapes.

The rides in Larimer and Weld Counties are comfortable for a wide range of cyclists. One example is a 15-mile “water history ride” that follows the floodplain of the Cache la Poudre River through a mix of fields, cottonwood trees, lakes, and the river itself. This is a great ride for 5-10 people who might have wondered how water gets from the mountains to the kitchen faucet, or how water laws were formed.

Population(s) Served
Families
Adults

Water is vital for life, and its availability has been a concern for mankind throughout the ages. Our Water Heritage Speaker Series focuses on the history and heritage of water management and the uses that have been made of water in Northern Colorado, as well as the impact of water management on the region. For example, how did the Poudre River impact national water law? How has water management played a role in craft brewing and drinking water quality? Or what impact does the river have on the sugar beet and agricultural industry?

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

We invite teachers to take their students beyond the classroom walls and into the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area for rich learning experiences — no permission slips required. Unfortunately, it isn’t always practical or possible to take students on field trips. Tight budgets, location, transportation, time, and resource restrictions can keep students schoolbound.

The Heritage Video Series removes those barriers, allowing students and families to explore places important to their discipline of study and consistent with their individual learning needs, without leaving the classroom.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today and what we pass on to future generations. The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area tells the story of the river that shaped historic water laws in the West - sharing the long struggle to sustain a viable agricultural economy and meet the growing needs of a diverse and expanding population, while conserving the Poudre River's health.

The goal of the Poudre Heritage Alliance - managing entity of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area - is to build a deeper understanding of the Poudre River's national significance to our country's "water story" through philanthropy, partnerships, community engagement, media and interpretation. Through our programming we "bring our river legacy to life."

Vision: The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area is a renowned attraction that combines opportunities for education on the central theme of Western water law with a healthy natural environment of abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery, all supported by premier facilities, including trails, visitor centers and interpretive exhibits. 

Mission: The Poudre Heritage Alliance serves the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, providing current and future generations the opportunity to understand and celebrate the area by careful planning and facilitation of educational programs and related amenities in collaboration with residents, private sector and government entities.

As the managing entity, the Poudre Heritage Alliance and its official partners directly support programs in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area.

Looking to the future, we face new opportunities and challenges including:
• Raising awareness about water issues and water management
• Reaching a younger and more diverse population
• Revitalizing the role of philanthropy and volunteerism
• Preserving and conserving our historical structures

To address these challenges, we focus programming in three major areas:
PROMOTE a variety of historical and cultural opportunities
Our Promote programs introduce people to the river and their heritage area. Examples include: youth field trips, marketing and outreach activities, special events, and volunteer ambassador trainings.

ENGAGE people in their river corridor
Our Engage programs motivate people to get out and explore. Examples include: trail-focused wellness and recreation programs, volunteer-led trail activities, river safety programs, and interpretive signage and gateway markers linking the river to local communities.

INSPIRE learning, preservation, and stewardship
Our Inspire programs bring stories and events to life through powerful place-based experiences. Examples include: historic preservation and restoration projects, educational activities, and multi-media and oral history archives.

The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area is one of 49 cultural and natural landscapes established by Congress as irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Unlike National Parks, National Heritage Areas are large lived-in landscapes owned by a variety of private and public entities. Also unlike National Parks, National Heritage Areas do not own the land that they encompass. Consequently, National Heritage Areas collaborate with communities to determine how to make heritage relevant to local interests and needs.

Given that the Poudre River flows out of Rocky Mountain National Park, through the cities of Fort Collins and Greeley to the confluence of the South Platte River outside of Denver, the Poudre River touches many lives and engages many public and private organizations. While the staff of the Poudre Heritage Alliance is small, support from Heritage Culturalist Volunteers, community and Heritage Area partners, and the Board greatly enhance our capacity and capabilities.

The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area receives support from the National Park Service, government partners such as the City of Fort Collins, Town of Windsor, and City of Greeley. It also collaborates with more than 17 official partner sites located within the boundaries of the National Heritage Area such as the Poudre Learning Center, Von Trotha-Firestien Farm at Bracewell, CSU Environmental Learning Center, Greeley History Museum, Meeker Home Museum, and Kaplan-Hoover Bison Bone Bed.

The Poudre Heritage Alliance, with support and collaboration from a highly engaged Board, team of volunteers, and community partners has accomplished much in the past few years:
• Generated an estimated $81.6 million for the local economy
• Raised the profile of the Poudre River and water heritage amongst the 634,000+ people living in Northern Colorado
• Engaged more than 200,000 participants each year in programs and activities that include major children's water festivals, academic forums, a water-focused speaker series, and a special event to educate and celebrate water in partnership with craft brewers in Fort Collins.
• Engaged many new stakeholders
• Enhanced internal capacity of infrastructure and staff

A few of goals for coming years:
• Build on educational programming specific to Heritage Area
• Increase tourism and refine measurements capturing visitation to Heritage Area
• Refine training process for Heritage Culturalist Volunteers to broaden opportunities for volunteer engagement

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Poudre Heritage Alliance
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Poudre Heritage Alliance

Board of directors
as of 9/1/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Wade Willis

Town of Windsor - Windsor Parks & Recreation Department

Term: 2019 - 2022


Board co-chair

Bob Overbeck

Larimer County - Assessor

Term: 2019 - 2022

Karen Scopel

City of Greeley - Planning Department

Nick Haws

Northern Engineering

Wade Willis

Town of Windsor - Windsor Parks & Open Space

Dan Biwer

City of Greeley

Sharon Bywater-Reyes

University of Northern Colorado

Greg Dewey

Northern Water Conservancy District

Meegan Flenniken

Larimer County - Natural Resources Department

Julie Kallenberger

Colorado State University

Billy Mihelich

Central Colorado Water Conservancy District

Cheri Yost

National Park Service

Chelsie Romulo

University of Northern Colorado

Jessica Salo

University of Northern Colorado

Bob Overbeck

Larimer County - Assessor

Julie Pignataro

City of Fort Collins

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/01/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/01/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.