-Jenni Mullins, Legacy Club Member
It was ten years, three months and some odd days ago that my dream came true.
It was warm, the sun was shining, and as I stood in the middle of the Colorado State University (CSU) campus in Fort Collins, I knew I had found a new home.
The foothills were comforting and the distant peaks enticing. The people were welcoming and the endless recreational possibilities were just so, so exciting!
I felt like I had been given a gift — a 104,094-square-mile gift that I couldn’t wait to explore.
The most excellent blend of mentors and friendships quickly sucked me into the world of conservation and adventure. I consistently found that the more I learned about the value of natural landscapes and healthy ecosystems, the more I wanted to immerse myself in them.
And visa versa. From snowy mountain tops to cool river banks, and shaded trails in between, I realized the most important thing I have learned since my arrival in our incredible state — we are all connected to nature.
We are connected in ways that most of us don’t even realize or fully understand.
Beyond the simple beauty, we are reliant on the gifts the land and water gives us every day, year after year and lifetime after lifetime.
It is up to each and every one of us to ensure our exceptional quality of life endures for the benefit of all.
You know those parks, vistas, trails and open spaces you use and enjoy? They are there for a reason. Natural areas sustain human, plant and animal life that will ensure healthy communities for future generations. Ever think about the clean water pouring from your tap?
The decisions we make about water usage literally affect millions of other people — everyone else is downstream from here.
Have you chosen the renewable energy option offered by your utility provider? Doing so contributes to job creation and healthy air. Not all states have this choice.
Do you consume Colorado-grown produce or patron local shops and restaurants?
Without the protection of the natural resources already mentioned, sustainable operations would not be able to prosper, nor would some small businesses survive.
Colorado communities are consistently ranked as some of the best places to live and their residents the most happy and healthy in the nation.
I am incredibly thankful for the many, many Coloradans, nonprofits, cities, municipalities and governmental organizations that have worked tirelessly over tens of decades to protect important places. Their commitments continue to ensure that our state will be able to sustain us, securing our exceptional lifestyles and allowing us to thrive.
The Nature Conservancy has been involved with issues like these for more than 60 years. Their commitment to science, collaboration and innovation is second to none.
I am humbled by how dedicated they are to the issues I find most important and honored to contribute what I can.
As this year ends and the next one begins, consider becoming a leader in conservation today. Donate now or join the 13ers to play outside, learn what it takes to protect the state we love and spread the word that every day your actions shape the future for all of us.December 14, 2012
Jenni is a Midwest transplant with a rich and varied background in environmental communication. Her passion for the natural world was first inspired by outdoor experiences in rural Illinois and weeks at summer camp in the woods. While receiving a Natural Resource degree from Colorado State University, Jenni worked for The National Park Service in education and outreach. After graduation she spent some time in the corporate world but soon realized non-profits were a better fit. This led Jenni to a field season on the shortgrass prairie with The Nature Conservancy that quickly opened her eyes and sealed her fate. She has worked on the development side of environmentally focused organizations in Colorado ever since. Outside of work you will find her playing in the mountains, baking cupcakes, and participating in various community efforts.Jenni is proud to be a part of The Legacy Club and plans to be a lifelong advocate.