They say that “good things come to those that wait.”  We in Rock the Earth have been patiently waiting a long time for another large-scale grant that would allow the organization to expand in new and exciting ways.  Well, that wait is over.

We are proud to announce that Rock the Earth has received a grant of $81,000 from the John Denver Aspenglow Fund. A portion of the grant will be utilized for the organization’s coalition work in protecting the Central Mountains of Colorado. Additional utilization of the funding will be applied to bolstering the organization’s public environmental education and outreach program and expanding the organization’s capacity to further assure Rock the Earth’s future success in fulfilling its mission of “Defending the Planet One Beat at a Time”.

Said Rock the Earth Executive Director and founder Marc Ross, “We at Rock the Earth have long been inspired by John Denver. His commitment throughout his life to combining his art and his love for the environment is unparalleled. At a time when our country was just starting to get serious about environmental and ecosystem protection, Denver was on the front lines, singing about it, producing television specials, and capturing nature’s beauty and inspiration in song and in imagery. We couldn’t be more honored and humbled to be the final recipient of funds from this great man’s legacy.”

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Denver worked to preserve and expand the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, standing side by side with President Carter as he signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act into law. Denver further defended Alaska’s delicate ecosystem when drilling was proposed a decade later.

Denver consistently advocated for protection of wilderness, what he called, “the greatest thing about nature.” When in the wild, Denver found it reminded him of who he was, where he came from, and what was possible and said, “There are so many things that need to be done that sometimes it seems overwhelming. I try to remind everyone that no one person has to do it all, but if each one of us follows our heart and our own inclinations, we will find the small things that we can do.  Together we will come up with enough, to create a sustainable future and a healthy environment.”

Annie Denver noted, “Music to John was a way of bringing people together, of inspiring the connection we all have for one another and caring for Planet Earth. He would be thrilled to know that, after all this time, a part of his legacy would be given to continue Rock the Earth’s good work. Rock the Earth is focused on educating and activating music fans. John certainly did this throughout his life and his music. He was proud to be a singer, songwriter and musician. It was his calling.”

Colorado Central Mountains Campaign
The Colorado Central Mountains Campaign is focused on the protection of several key areas of Summit and Eagle County – deep in the heart of Colorado’s Central Mountains. Among the most recognizable landscapes in the state, Colorado’s Central Mountains encompass many of our most cherished mountains, forests and valleys. Iconic landscapes like the Holy Cross and Eagles Nest Wilderness Areas lie at the heart of the region, but most of the surrounding public lands remain unprotected and at risk. Serving as an outdoor “playground” for Colorado’s Front Range, these amazing and wild landscapes sustain recreation resources, protect critical watersheds, preserve important wildlife corridors, and strengthen the region’s tourism economy. We will include a much more thorough description of the Central Mountains Campaign in our June edition of Rock the Earth Notes, as well as on a forthcoming Central Mountains Campaign project page on the Rock the Earth website.

In addition to the John Denver Aspenglow Fund, the Colorado Central Mountains Campaign is supported by The Wilderness Society, Pew Charitable Trusts, Conservation Colorado, the International Mountain Bicycling Association, the Outdoor Industry Association, the Conservation Alliance, the Vet Voice Foundation, and many others.