After our 3rd annual retreat in Naples, Florida, the staff and board are reenergized, ready for another productive year! I would like to personally thank Florida Wildlife Federation for hosting and supporting IDEAS For Us once again!

During the retreat, the staff set their own responsibilities under their positions. As an example, my tasks are to maintain staff productivity and rally the team when needed, and serve as the Western Regional contact for IDEAS For Us. This includes: reaching out to surrounding universities, developing partnerships, attending local meetings, providing support and resources to aspiring chapter leaders, and build capacity to launch Hive Boulder.

Already I have reached out to campus departments in the greater Colorado area, letting department heads know IDEAS For Us is here as an outlet for leadership and project development! A big thank you to Lee Perry, our intern, for getting that list together. Nick Stampar, IDEAS UN Director, made contact with a Kansas University student interested in starting an IDEAS Chapter! I reached out to him and am awaiting a response!

Lastly, through my waste diversion work, I met the Sustainability Manager for St Vrain School District in Longmont, Colorado, Dara Ward. We will be meeting mid July to hatch out plans to partner on sustainability projects in the area.

The other day I was reading a travel magazine and discovered that the actor from Vampire Diaries has his own Foundation, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. His group works to empower young people to start environmental projects. We hope to build a relationship in the near future.

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to be the official ‘naturalist’ guide for an event called “Beers Made By Walking” by Twisted Pine Brewing’s Lead Brewer, Kay Witkiewicz. There, I will help the brewers identify native plants that can be used in their nature inspire brew. The walk is planned to for mid August.
Lastly, the group BayCycle Project is gearing up to launch a new aquatic bike movement in the San Francisco Bay area! This innovative concept uses pontoons, with a custom platform that locks the bike into the center of the floating frame. I reached out to the project creators and asked if they would like our support!
Until next time, have a wonderful month of July. I look forward to building more sustainable ‘infrastructure’ in the west!

-Henry K. Harding
Operational Director
Western Regional Director