Your donations keep CUSP crews and volunteers on the ground protecting the water quality and ecological health of the South Platte watershed. CUSP leverages contributions as matching funds for grants and on-the-ground work. Your investment is maximized to protect the Upper South Platte watershed.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR STATEMENT
I am intensely proud to be a part of the growth and development of CUSP. This is an organization that has evolved great challenges and demands. From our start in 1998, CUSP has always been responsive and mission-driven.
CUSP has created a new model of watershed protection, that looks at the "big picture" and supports proactive, science-based programs that promote health and resiliency throughout the watershed. By trailblazing innovative resource protection practices and applications, as well as emergency response approaches to fire and flood, CUSP has gained national attention and prominence as an expert in post-fire recovery and ecological restoration.
We work to create a culture of collaboration and partnership with an extensive group of agencies, organizations, and individuals to accomplish goals and tasks that none of us could do alone. These invaluable relationships and projects have helped CUSP become highly successful at receiving and administering grants, helping us to become an effective regional economic force, not just by growing our own staff, but also by providing work to many local contractors and their employees.
CUSP BOARD CHAIR STATEMENT
The CUSP Board of Directors includes stakeholders in the watershed. Board members include water utilities operating within the Upper South Platte Watershed including, Denver Water, Aurora, Centennial Water, Colorado Springs Utilities, and the following counties: Park, Douglas, Jefferson, and Teller. These entities assign staff or representatives/elected officials to fill the CUSP board positions. Other stakeholder representatives include members from regional conservation and conservancy districts, other natural resource protection nonprofit organizations as well as interested individuals.
CUSP's distinctive board make-up provides many advantages. Members have both a deep and a broad understanding of the many issues and impacts on the watershed. With professional backgrounds in engineering and science, community planning and elected office, finance, and fundraising, board members bring diverse and relevant perspectives to the challenges facing the watershed. From understanding the science behind ecological impacts to political nuances of decisions, the CUSP's board is able to make informed, mission-driven decisions regarding the direction of the organization.
The board does not focus on the day-to-day operations of the organization, but rather on the larger issues and policies of CUSP. These can include but are not limited to, financial decisions related to employee benefits or policies related to succession planning. The board approves the annual budget and professional audit. Most importantly, the board of directors serves as CUSP's ambassadors with their organizations and networks.
" My husband, James Bennett, and I volunteer because we love our beautiful state (CO natives!) and want to keep it that way for our children and future generations. We feel honored and compelled to help restore local areas that have been affected by fire or flood, and CUSP gets out there and makes it happen! We chose you because you make yourselves known (active on Facebook, etc) and you always show love for your volunteers! So thanks and hopefully we'll be seeing you again soon!"
"Volunteering with CUSP has been an educational experience. Every time I volunteer with CUSP I learn something new. The leadership, knowledge, and friendly staff keep me coming back to help out with projects year after year. These guys are the true stewards of the land."
"I had the privilege of volunteering with two groups of students for you all! I brought a group of students to do work on the Hayman Fire burn area in 2007, and another in 2013 on the Waldo Canyon fire on the Flying W Ranch property. It was wonderful to work alongside great CUSP staff, but the best part was educating students about the purpose of restoration efforts. The Waldo Canyon fire was in our back yard (I'm from Colorado Springs), so the work we did was especially meaningful, because we were close to home. Thank you for your willingness to work with a bunch of high school kids and their teacher, but thanks even more for educating the next generation about so many things: restoration, the importance of fire mitigation, what the urban interface means...and helping kids see how they impact and are impacted by all of these!" Sue Knopp
"Had the CUSP crew over to do some fire mitigation, and it was a pleasure to volunteer with a group of professional foresters. They worked like Tasmanian devils to clear and chip an acre of dense scrub oak in a matter of days. Will definitely have them back...