Aspen Valley Land Trust

Protecting the places you love

aka AVLT   |   Carbondale, CO   |  www.avlt.org

Mission

To permanently preserve open space for agriculture, wildlife habitat, scenic enjoyment, and recreation in the Roaring Fork and Middle Colorado River valleys.

Ruling year info

1967

Executive Director

Suzanne Stephens

Main address

320 Main Street Suite 204

Carbondale, CO 81623 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Park Trust Ltd.

EIN

84-0574754

NTEE code info

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Farmland Preservation (K25)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Conditions We Face The valleys of the Roaring Fork and middle Colorado River are filled with places vital to the life and character of the region. These open lands and landscapes provide habitat for wildlife, are the lifeblood for local agriculture, protect crucial water resources, and provide communities with connection to nature and the great outdoors through recreation and outdoor education. While their value to the region is unmatched, nature and open lands are under severe threat and face an uncertain future. Some of the most important challenges to the community health and character of our communities include:  Population growth and development  Diminishing habitat and corridors for wildlife  Extreme/unpredictable weather and climate change  Water quality and quantity  Decreasing connection of children to nature  A changing and diversifying community with diverse needs

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?

Land Conservation

Aspen Valley Land Trust's mission is to conserve open land in perpetuity for the benefit of the public. This means that the land we protect possesses conservation values worthy of public investment, including important wildlife habitat, water resources like stream corridors, wetlands and water rights, recreational parks and trails, outdoor educational space, farms, ranches, and scenic vistas.

Most of the land conserved by AVLT is protected with conservation easements, voluntary agreements that restrict development and certain uses on the property. This tool offers an efficient and effective way to protect land under private management, keep it on the tax rolls, and protect it in perpetuity. In fact, a 2017 Colorado State University study revealed that every dollar invested in conservation easements provided a return of between $4 and $12 in environmental benefits such as water purification, soil conservation, access to local foods, and protection of important wildlife habitat.

Donations to AVLT's Land Conservation Fund support this work and help ensure a healthy future for our beautiful valleys, open spaces, and way of life.

Evidence of Program's Success
AVLT has protected over 43,000 acres of open lands for wildlife, agriculture, recreation, and education, including more than 90 miles of river and stream frontage, 30 miles of trails, and 10 public parks. AVLT is accredited by the National Land Trust Accreditation Commission and certified by the State of Colorado.

As the oldest land trust in Colorado, AVLT maintains the highest ethical and legal standards, strong fiscal health, and an excellent reputation in the community, positioning the organization to remain successful and sustainable over the next 50 years and beyond.

Population(s) Served

In 2016, AVLT purchased a 47-acre property in Marble, Colorado known as Chapin Wright Marble Basecamp, which has been home to outdoor education programs for local youth for 50 years. Nearly 5,000 middle school kids have backpacked into this scenic alpine wonderland, camped, climbed, and practiced team-building and personal challenges designed to enrich lives and deepen connections to the outdoors and to one another. This outdoor experience helps students unplug from daily distractions and develop an appreciation for the natural world that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Today, Marble Basecamp offers students and teachers from up and down the Roaring Fork Valley a rare opportunity to experience outdoor education in a magical, remote setting, helping develop and support the next generation of leaders and land stewards.

AVLT has committed to managing Basecamp for wildlife and for children, making it accessible to schools and youth groups throughout the region. Donations to this program will fund long-term management and improvements to the property needed to make it accessible to less experienced groups. Donations also fund a part-time education outreach coordinator who works with local schools and youth groups to provide access and help meet their outdoor education goals.

For more information please see the Marble Basecamp video above or copy and paste the following link into your browser:

https://youtu.be/lWbF4D1Pg7Q

Evidence of Program's Success
AVLT has engaged with more than 14 schools and several youth groups to discuss how outdoor education programs at Marble Basecamp can enhance their programs. Last year, AVLT led a course for 25 educators from Aspen to Glenwood Springs exploring the philosophy, purpose, and logistics of leading outdoor education programs for children in the wild.

Aspen Middle School celebrated 50 years of its 8th Grade Outdoor Ed program this year, most of which has taken place at Marble Basecamp. Conservation of the property means that it will remain available to the school to use for the next 50 years.

So far, Basalt High School, Glenwood High School, Marble Charter School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, The Buddy Program, and our local ROTC have all sent groups of students to the property for inspirational outdoor experiences. The classes enjoy building campfires, telling stories, working on team building, and helping with land management.

Your support also enables each of these schools to develop community service projects on the property, and provides opportunities for teacher and leadership advancement. It is clear that Marble Basecamp is becoming a treasured community asset that benefits our children and our communities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People of Latin American descent
Working poor
Academics
Veterans

In order to carry out its mission to protect treasured open spaces forever, AVLT is required to monitor each of its conservation holdings on an annual basis and to legally defend them in perpetuity.

AVLT maintains a Stewardship Fund dedicated to the long-term stewardship and maintenance of its conserved lands. Growing this fund will enable the Land Trust to carry out its obligations in perpetuity. We need to be here forever, in order to protect land forever.

Evidence of Program's Success
Successful stewardship is evidenced by excellent relationships with owners of conserved lands and conservation partners, as well as by the continued good stewardship of conserved lands. In the case of a violation or challenge to a conserved property, the Land Trust has shown its ability to respond immediately and achieve successful restoration or resolution of the issue.

Population(s) Served
Farmers
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Accreditations

Land Trust Alliance 2008

Land Trust Alliance 2014

Land Trust Alliance 2019

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.

1. GOAL: PROTECT the special places and signature landscapes of our region to ensure they remain forever open and vital for wildlife and communities. The health of our future depends on the health of our land, water, air, wildlife, and access to open spaces.
2. GOAL: STEWARD conserved lands to be resilient and forever beneficial to the communities of our region. Sound management of conserved lands and conservation easements ensures that the benefits of conservation and open land extend into the future, and providing resources for a healthy environment and healthy communities.
3. GOAL: ENGAGE diverse communities on the land to inspire broad-based understanding and support for nature and conservation. By exploring and highlighting the shared future of humans and nature, we can strengthen the benefits to both, grow a stronger and more resilient organization, and create a healthier life-long connection between our communities and the environment.
4. GOAL: COMMIT to building an organization capable of fulfilling its mission in perpetuity and maximizing the benefits of conservation to diverse communities. An organization cannot grow or thrive without a strong and broad base of support and sound financial policies and resources.

PROTECT our special places to ensure they remain forever vital for wildlife and communities.
- Protect ecosystem integrity, wildlife habitat and migration corridors, and natural resources.
- Support landowners commitment to conserve their land.
- Prioritize projects with highest conservation impact and return on investment.

STEWARD conserved lands to be resilient and forever beneficial to our communities.
- Strengthen landowner and partner relationships to further land management and conservation goals.
- Organize volunteer opportunities to help manage conserved lands.
- Help improve the Silt River Preserve to protect wildlife habitat and to provide public recreation.
- Support Highwater Farm in connecting diverse communities and youth to agriculture and increasing local food production.
- Address local water scarcity and water quality issues and needs through the Hause R3 Fund.
- Create resource hub to promote sustainable agriculture and regenerative ecosystem services.

ENGAGE diverse communities to inspire understanding and support for conservation.
- Provide kids outdoor education experiences at Marble Basecamp.
- Establish community land to provide “hands-on” engagement with conservation, land stewardship, habitat restoration, and outdoor education.
- Expand opportunities for community recreation and education on conserved land. Support inclusive and relevant growth in our community.

COMMIT to building an organization capable of fulfilling its mission in perpetuity and maximizing the benefits of conservation for a diverse community.
- Support growth and excellence of board, staff, and volunteers.
- Improve communication channels and frequency to build understanding and support of conservation.
- Increase financial strength and long-term resilience to carry out mission for forever.

As the oldest land trust in Colorado, Aspen Valley Land Trust has worked with landowners and community partners to conserve land in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys since 1967.

Protect
Steward
Engage
Commit

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), Community meetings/Town halls,

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

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Aspen Valley Land Trust
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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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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • 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.

Aspen Valley Land Trust

Board of directors
as of 1/28/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

David Chase

No Affiliation

Term: 2016 - 2022

Ellen Dube

Scott Hanley

Equus Private Wealth Management

Cindi Jacobson

Innovative Outcomes

Charles Bantis

First Western Trust

Curtis Kaufman

Amy Krick

Scott Miller

Waterlaw

Richard Shaw

Design Workshop

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 1/28/2021,

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.