Aspen TREE Founder and Co-Director Eden Vardy discusses Aspen TREE's signature event, the Farm to Table Community Meal, a free meal served the week of Thanksgiving and made entirely from local ingredients.

Board members Michael Miracle and Jeff Davlyn discuss the importance of Aspen TREE in the community and their role in educating the Valley about local and sustainable food. 

Learn more about Aspen TREE and their events at

Co-Directors River Morgan and Eden Vardy share Aspen TREE's formal and informal programs, which range from Earth Keepers summer day-camp to self-guided tours of the FarmPark, located at Cozy Point Ranch outside of Aspen. Board Vice President Michael Miracle also contributes.

Go to to learn more about Aspen TREE's programs and events. If you are a teacher in the Roaring Fork Valley and would like to schedule a field trip to the FarmPark, contact River Morgan or Eden Vardy for more information at (970) 379-2323.  

Aspen TREE Co-Directors Eden Vardy and River Morgan share the history of the organization and the inspiration behind the work of Aspen TREE. Vardy became inspired after taking an Environmental Literacy class at Aspen High School, which would lead him to pursue his undergraduate and graduate degrees focused on positive environmentalism. 

The organization is located at Cozy Point Ranch, where they operate the FarmPark,. The park includes a greenhouse dome, food garden, alpacas, goats, chickens, rabbits, and more, and is open 365-days a year and open to the public. 

Rebecca Mirsky is the Development Director at Wilderness Workshop, and oversees the Artist in Wilderness Program. The program invites artists for a one-week residency in the Aspen area, where they create art inspired by the places that Wilderness Workshop is working to protect. Mirsky also discusses the organization's summer guided hike series, local lecture series, and volunteer opportunities.

School representatives and members of local arts groups will discuss how Carbondale’s Creative District status and the school’s curriculum can be more in sync on Thursday.


The collaboration won’t begin for another year, but Koenigsknecht hopes to include a framework of project-based learning, where students learn through individual projects.


Crystal River Elementary’s principal, Matt Koenigsknecht, said the goal of this meeting is to come up with a cohesive vision for how the students might be learning.

Spellbinders Executive Director Catherine Scales Johnson discusses the impact of Spellbinders on the students in schools throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and the future of the volunteer-based organization. 5th grade Aspen Middle School teacher Amy Gray also contributes to the importance of the program in the classroom. 

Roaring Fork Valley Spellbinders Chapter leader, Annie Sinton, also can be heard telling the story of a dog and a mountain lion from a storytelling event at Explore Booksellers in July 2016. 

Amy Gray is a 5th grade teacher at Aspen Middle School. Every month, her class is visited by a special guest, Adelaide Waters, a volunteer storyteller for Spellbinders. Waters has a new story to tell the students every month, and as Gray explains, the students are captured by each and every story. 

Gray shares the importance of oral storytelling for her students and the value the program brings to her classroom. Spellbinders Executive Director, Catherine Scales Johnson also contributes. 

Catherine Scales-Johnson is the Executive Director of Spellbinders, an organization that is best known for its in-school storytelling program. Told by volunteers, the stories span from folk tales and personal stories to historical fiction. All volunteers must go through a 14-hour training and continue to have regular meetings with other volunteers.

Volunteer teller, Adelaide Waters, shares her personal experience with Spellbinders and the inspiration for her own stories. 

3rd grade Aspen Elementary School teacher Dana Pingatore shares the importance of the Aspen Historical Society's school programs and the power of being submerged in history for her students. Nina Gabianelli, vice president of education and programs, also contributes. 

Learn more about the Aspen Historical Society and their education programs at

Leticia Ingram

Leticia Ingram is having a huge week. The Basalt teacher was honored by President Barack Obama on Tuesday, with other celebrated teachers from across the country.

The Roaring Fork Center for Community Leadership is best known for their year-long program, Roaring Fork Leadership, where individuals go through 10 months of classes and training with the end goal of becoming better leaders and more engaged citizens. Andrea Palm-Porter is the Executive Director of the organization. 

Learn more about the Roaring Fork Center for Community Leadership at, or find the application for the class of 2017. 

John Sarpa is a long-time local who is a graduate of  the Roaring Fork Leadership program and then served as the President of the Roaring Fork Center for Community Leadership. Often confused for the name of the organization, Roaring Fork Leadership is the 9-month long program that trains professionals in the Roaring Fork Valley to become better leaders, thinkers, and activists in their communities. 

Sarpa shares the history of the organization and its importance today. 

Buddy Program Executive Director, David Houggy, talks about the organization and his vision for the future. The Buddy Program has been expanding its services in Carbondale, and are anticipating more growth in the coming years. 

Cross Currents

Mar 23, 2016

Coming up on CrossCurrents, Partnering in Education and Aid for Kenya with Debbie Welden, Jane Keener Quiat, and Isaac Soita (SOY-tah) from Running Water International.


Lindsay Lofaro is the Assistant Director of the Buddy Program. She discusses the organization's various mentoring programs, including the popular Community Mentoring Program, where adults are paired with little buddies, and the newest program, LEAD, or Leadership through Exploration, Action, and Discovery. 

Lorraine Davis is a resident artist and teacher at the Red Brick Center for the Arts. She's been involved for almost four years, and shares her excitement for the art center's recent evolution. Davis is joined by painter Sue Tatem, who has been taking art classes at the Red Brick for almost two decades.

The Red Brick Center for the Arts offers Life Drawing, Still Life Painting, and Masterpiece Mine classes every week. Find class listings and events at the Red Brick Center for the Arts at   

Elise Thatcher

Students in the Roaring Fork Valley can take a test this April that’s called the ACT.

Colorado’s Department of Education confirmed that on Monday, after weeks of confusion.

"With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism" - Malala Yousafzai

Executive Director Jodi Fischer and Board Co-Chair Chelsea Dillon discuss the future of the Marshall Direct Fund and their long-term goals. 

Learn more about the Marshall Direct Fund and how you can get involved at

Kristen Zodrow, a 6th grade science teacher at Aspen Middle School, discusses the Global Kid Connect Program and the impacts the program has had on her students. Global Kid Connect is a modern day pen pal program between Elementary and Middle School students in the Roaring Fork Valley and students in Pakistan. 

Nine schools in the Roaring Fork Valley, and over 300 students and teachers, have participated in the Global Kids Connect program, which is run through the Marshall Direct Fund. Jodi Fischer, executive director of the Marshall Direct Fund, also contributes. 

Jodi Fischer, the U.S. Team Executive Director of the Marshall Direct Fund, and Chelsea Dillon, Board Co-Chair, discuss the programs and projects the Marshall Direct Fund run in the U.S. and Pakistan. The organization has three major programs and areas of focus: primary education, economic empowerment and vocational training for women, and a pen pal program between students in the U.S. and Pakistan. 

Visit to learn more about the organization and their educational programs in Pakistan and the U.S.