While the Salazar Center was not immune to the myriad and unprecedented challenges of the past year, 2020 offered opportunities for us to learn and grow. Our vision for healthy, resilient natural landscapes and human communities across North America has only been strengthened in these times, and as we continue to promote conservation solutions and common ground, our efforts remain rooted in a hopefulness for the future of our continent. We’re proud of what we accomplished in 2020, and we hope to build upon our progress in the year to come.
In September, Borderlands Restoration Network won the inaugural $100,000 Conservation Impact incentive prize for its innovative proposal to conserve agaves, protect pollinator bats, and increase economic sustainability in the US-Mexico borderlands. The team was one of 46 applicants, representing a range of conservation efforts across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
SYMPOSIUM ON CONSERVATION IMPACT
Our second annual symposium included the final pitch event for the Connectivity Challenge, a popular workshop on working effectively with rural communities, and a day devoted to exploring conservation, equity, and resilience in urban areas. Nearly 400 attendees joined the virtual event on September 16 and 17.
CONNECTING FOR CONSERVATION SERIES
We launched a new webinar series this year, the popularity of which benefitted from COVID-era remote work, and which laid the foundation for the Conservation Conversations series and other partner webinars. Since February, we’ve hosted 12 installments, featuring dozens of experts from across disciplines, engaging an audience of more than 3,300 viewers.
THRIVING CITIES CHALLENGE
In September, the Center announced the Thriving Cities conservation impact incentive prize, to be awarded in 2021. With significant initial funding from the VF Foundation, the challenge will seek proposals to advance climate resilience, green space, and racial equity in North American urban areas.
PARTNERING FOR A RESILIENT DENVER
Under a new intergovernmental agreement signed this summer, the Center will support the City and County of Denver in its efforts to advance climate resilience, habitat, and equitable access to green space. In 2021 and beyond, we will bring CSU research to bear on these issues and work closely with the City to identify, share, and advance best practices and natural solutions.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION IN LARGE LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
In partnership with the Network for Landscape Conservation and support from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Center has been working in 2020 on case studies exploring how principles of equity and inclusion can strengthen large landscape conservation work. An upcoming report, to be published in early 2021, will offer insights and approaches for putting these principles and practices into action.
Each of the endeavors highlighted here would not be possible without the generous investments of our supporters. If you’d like to learn more about the Center’s programs, please don’t hesitate to contact us. In 2021, we will build upon the strong foundation we laid this year, and to continue to explore new pathways for inspiring innovative, inclusive conservation solutions throughout North America. Your donation makes our work possible!