Congratulations, Rafael!

Posted on Apr 28, 2015

Congratulations, Rafael!
Rafael received the Daily Camera Pacesetters Award in Environment for 2014.

Rafael received the Daily Camera Pacesetters Award in Environment for 2014.

Last week at Cal-Wood we had cause to celebrate when our executive director, Rafael Salgado, was honored with the 2014 Daily Camera Pacesetters Award in Environment. We are so proud of Rafael and are glad his work to provide children the opportunity to learn science in the field has been recognized.  Way to go, Rafael!

The 2014 Pacesetters recipients are incredible women and men in their fields. Jamestown was represented twice by honorees; Jamestown mayor Tara Schoedinger was also recognized for her selfless response to the flood.

Our Cal-Wood staff has no end of positive comments to make about Rafael. Still, maybe he can best be understood in his own words. Here is an excerpt from his remarks upon receiving the award:

“Thanks very much to the Daily Camera for this amazing honor and to our board member Jan Chu for nominating me for this very important award.

I grew up in a small town in Mexico spending a lot of time in the outdoors, where nature was just outside my home.

As a student of wildlife biology, one time I was counting ducks in one of the city lakes in Mexico. Some people asked me questions about what I was doing. One of these people was a classroom teacher, who asked me if she could bring her class to learn about migratory birds. First, one school came, then, many more. Later, the same students organized a cleanup project because that lake was very polluted.  Then, the city officials started paying attention to the lake, and now this lake is the most beautiful, clean lake in this city, and the ducks still visit this lake every winter.

That experience showed me that teaching kids about our environment was what I really wanted to do in life, and here I am in Colorado doing that.”

Rafael has dedicated his career to making the Cal-Wood experience–whether through school programs, summer camps, or volunteer opportunities–accessible to all children, particularly underserved students who might never get to experience exploring the mountains with their families.

In his remarks, he also thanked our many generous supporters. We rely on our donors and sponsors to provide access to the Cal-Wood experience to every child, regardless of family situation.

Bravo, Rafael! Keep up the good work!