IPF's day-to-day activities are performed by three part-time consultants.
Mark Fuller has served as IPF's Executive Director since 1996. Mark oversees maintenance of completed projects on the Pass; plans for ongoing and new stabilization and revegetation projects, maintains liaison with the Board of Trustees and other agencies; organizes the annual Ride for the Pass, and directs the school children educational planting program.
Judith Olesen has served as IPF's Development Director since 1994. She is responsible for maintaining relationships with IPF supporters; developing requests to individuals, foundations, and government agencies; producing the bi-annual newsletter and other printed materials; developing and maintaining the website; and maintaining records of all gifts and grants to IPF.
Patricia Chew has served as IPF's bookkeeper since 2009. Working with Treasurer Paul D’Amato, she takes care of monthly accounting, prepares financial statements for the Board of Directors, maintains compliance with federal and state filings, and provides information to Reese Henry & Co. for preparation of IPF’s 990 nonprofit tax return.
Volunteers Assist IPF in Many Ways
Every year volunteers such as those from the Aspen Youth Center in August 2011 help IPF plant seedling trees and custom-grown native shrubs and wildflowers. Over the past two decades, more than 27,000 plants have been installed throughout the corridor.
Every year various groups of volunteers assist the Independence Pass Foundation in a variety of ways. Volunteers help present the annual “Ride for the Pass,” which raises funds to support IPF's projects on the Pass and at the same time raises community awareness of our mission. One of the most valuable ways in which volunteers support our work is by planting revegetation materials. Every year volunteers help plant seedling trees, native shrubs and wildflowers in different places throughout the corridor.
One of our favorite traditions is our annual outings with local middle schoolers to plant on the Pass.Two separate groups from Aspen Middle School and a group of Plant Trees 4 Life supporters all contributed time and effort to 2012’s planting projects. Classes of fifth and sixth graders from the Aspen Middle School spent half a day on the Pass learning how to plant native vegetation and working to reclaim damaged areas. We planted Lodgepole Pine and Douglas Fir (generously donated by the ESTAMAR Trust that has been working on the Smuggler Mountain Beetle Management Project) near the Winter Gate on Highway 82. We also installed more plants at the berm bordering the Winter Gate parking area. Some groups helped us replant the Lodgepole Plantation at Lincoln Creek that will act as a nursery for future Lodgepole transplants. All in all, we planted nearly 500 trees and another 200+ native wildflowers, shrubs and grasses.
In addition, Aspen Country Day students helped remove snow fence debris, carrying multiple loads of scrap metal from the high ridges on the Continental Divide to the summit parking area where the material was stockpiled for pickup and recycling. IPF is proud of the role we have played in nurturing the environmental awareness of Aspen's next generation.
In 2012, volunteers contributed 2,472 hours of labor, and helped plant a total of 688 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers on the Pass. Thanks to volunteers, the slopes throughout the Independence Pass corridor are greener with every passing year. We are deeply grateful for the assistance provided by our loyal partners and supporters.