What a gorgeous summer day we had for the Jackson Hole Land Trust Open Space Council celebration held at the Mead / Hansen Ranch in Spring Gulch. Brad and Kate Mead were very gracious hosts for the afternoon of appreciation, storytelling, and plein air painting… Thank you Brad and Kate for sharing your beautiful ranch with all of us!!!
The Meads included a special guest, Frank Galey Jr. whose uncle, Frank Galey, owned and ran the Whitegrass Ranch in Grand Teton National Park until the late 1980s. Frank was full of interesting stories, not only of the ranch, but of his work as Dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Wyoming. One of his special interests is to ‘cross-train’ students in Engineering and Agriculture, so that oil and gas people understand the challenges of wildlife on public and private lands, and that ranchers understand the specific needs and effects of oil and gas on their lands. Working together is always more effective than being potential adversaries.
This afternoon got me thinking of philanthropy, and I am certain that each of us in our community has something to give. We think of philanthropy as giving money, but other things are just as valuable. Think about it… we are all important and can contribute in many ways:
Positive thinking is so important at the birth of an idea, when you believe that the idea is possible to achieve.
Time to help comes in handy for everything from setting up events, to making phone calls, to leading outings to teach something you care about.
Hands to work is critical for groups like Habitat for Humanity, spring and fall county clean-up days, or for taking down barbed wire fencing on wild lands.
Expertise to share can be in marketing, finance, law, project management – so many different things.
Capital to finance is crucial, and many people have stepped up to secure conservation easements on private property in our valley, protecting wildlife habitat and open space.
Art to inspire – and this is how I can contribute to life in our valley. It is such a treat to be one of the View22 artists this summer, to spend time on protected properties like the Mead / Hansen Ranch and to make a painting that captures the spirit of the moment. It was great fun to share the process of ‘looking for the painting’, making a quick line drawing, starting to lay out the idea on canvas, and then to make the painting come to life.
Remember, it is important for each of us to do what we can to build our community and keep it strong!
~ Lee Carlman Riddell