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Melissa Walker new president of Friends of Garden of the Gods

       Long-time area naturalist Melissa Walker recently became the new president of Friends of Garden of the Gods (FOGG).
       She replaces John Demmon, who had held the position for five years. “Inspired by the leadership of John Demmon, I now aspire to continue FOGG's mission of preservation and education with the help of a very effective board [of directors] and so many dedicated FOGG members and volunteers,” Walker writes in the Summer 2014 edition of volunteer group's FOGGhorn newsletter.

            Melissa Walker
       Other newly elected officers on the FOGG board are Joan Skoog, vice president; Donna Becker, secretary; and Paul Roberts, treasurer. Demmon will stay on the board in the position of “past president.”
       “The winter issue of the FOGGhorn included a list of FOGG's many accomplishments,” writes Walker (who also authors occasional nature columns that appear in the Westside Pioneer). “This spring, FOGG has been adding to that list. The highlights are:
       “1. Park restoration: FOGG is financially supporting the Rocky Mountain Field Institute's restoration of the eroded and trampled areas surrounding the Jaycee Plaza at the east base of North Gateway Rock…
       “2. Park preservation: FOGG Board members attended all of the public meetings of the Camp Creek flood mitigation project and also wrote letters to lobby for specific ways to protect the park. Fortunately, our efforts were worthwhile. Although a detention pond will need to be built near the northeast border of the Garden, the irreplaceable viewscape of the Gateway [Road] entrance will be preserved…
       “3. Education: The park staff and volunteers have completed the spring school field trip programs. Hundreds of children had the chance to experience the Garden first hand. [Park Operation Manager] Bret Tennis is to be commended for working with [Rock Ledge Ranch Manager] Andy Morris at Rock Ledge Ranch to arrange to have the groups meet at the Ranch during the VNC's remodel. FOGG financially supports the park's education programs.
       “4. Additional park ranger: FOGG members specifically lobbied City Council for an additional ranger for the park, and the funds were finally allocated in this year's city budget. Larry Kitt started on May 12 and joins Ranger “Snook” Cipolletti in the hard work of taking care of the Garden. Larry has a degree in natural resources and conservation. Be sure to greet Larry when you see him out on the trails.”

From a press release
(Posted 5/29/14; Outdoors: Garden of the Gods)

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