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Cap off your Independence Day activities by attending Greater Arkansas River Nature Association’s annual fundraiser and celebration of nature at the beautiful new venue, The Barn at Sunset Ranch located at the base of Mount Princeton July 7, 5-9 p.m.

The Nurturing Nature Gala features Florence Williams, nationally acclaimed speaker and author of “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative.”

Williams is a journalist, author, podcaster and public speaker. She is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and a freelance writer for the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Review of Books, Slate, Mother Jones and numerous other publications.

She is also the writer and host of two Gracie-Award-winning Audible Original series, “Breasts Unbound” and “The Three-Day Effect,” as well as Outside Magazine’s Double-X Factor podcast.

Her public speaking includes keynotes at Google, the Smithsonian, the Seattle Zoo, the Aspen Ideas Festival and many other corporate, academic and nonprofit venues.

GARNA will be presenting their annual Lifetime Achievement Award for the first time at the Nurturing Nature Gala.

This year, the award will be given to Alan Robinson, who has volunteered through the Friends of Fourmile chapter of GARNA for 23 years.

Alan’s work to implement a visitor use and impact monitoring system in the Fourmile area northeast of Buena Vista was instrumental for starting the Envision Chaffee County Recreation in Balance Initiative, and GARNA’s Now This Is How We Recreate education and outreach campaign to increase responsible outdoor recreation in the Upper Arkansas Valley.

Funds raised at the gala will support these two initiatives, along with GARNA’s other community and youth education programs.

Contributions from sponsors such as Climax Molybdenum, and local individual donors, are helping to make the event possible.

The event also features a not-so-silent auction that includes an electric bike (including a 15 percent off a one-time purchase at Boneshaker Cycles in BV), vacation stays at unique local venues, outdoor gear, art and more. Fun will ensue with not-so-silent auctioneer, Chaffee County Commissioner Keith Baker.

Music will be provided by Ed Lambert. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres are included in the VIP and main event tickets, and the VIP event features an intimate cocktail hour and book signing with Florence Williams.

GARNA, through its new Sustainability Program, Chaffee Green, is striving to make the event zero waste.

In addition to many behind-the-scenes processes set in place to ensure low or zero waste, each guest will be given a pint glass to use during the event and take home afterwards.

Chaffee Shuttle will be providing a shuttle from Salida to the event and back for guests who live in the south part of the county.

GARNA is encouraging Salida registrants to be green and safe and use the shuttle.

Tickets and more information at: or by calling 719-539-5106.

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