City officials are accepting nominations for the Steamboat Springs Heritage Award, which was first awarded to John Fetcher in 2000 and recognizes outstanding community citizenship in human service, open space preservation and community character. Nominations are due by April 11 to City Clerk Julie Jordan. Contact her at 871-8231 or jjordan@steamboatsprings.net for more information.

Photo by John F. Russell

City officials are accepting nominations for the Steamboat Springs Heritage Award, which was first awarded to John Fetcher in 2000 and recognizes outstanding community citizenship in human service, open space preservation and community character. Nominations are due by April 11 to City Clerk Julie Jordan. Contact her at 871-8231 or jjordan@steamboatsprings.net for more information.

City accepting applications for prestigious biennial award

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To nominate

Nomination forms for the 2008 Steamboat Springs Heritage Award are available at City Hall at 137 10th St. or online at www.steamboatspri.... Contact City Clerk Julie Jordan at 871-8231 or jjordan@steamboat... for more information. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. April 11.

— City officials are accepting nominations for one of the city's most prestigious honors: the Steamboat Springs Heritage Award.

The award recognizes outstanding community citizenship and qualities including human service, open space preservation and maintenance of community character, said Rachel Ivancie, an intern in the city clerk's office. The Steamboat Springs City Council makes the final determination of a winner.

"What we're trying to do is applaud the community for certain gifts," Ivancie said.

"The gift doesn't need to be physical," Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord added.

The award can go to an individual, couple or even an entire organization.

The winner of the award, which has been handed out every two years since 2000, receives a bronze six-point elk statue created by local artist and rancher Curtis Zabel. Because Zabel made only 12 of the statues, DuBord said the city has decided it is more appropriate to give out the award biennially, rather than annually. But even that schedule is subject to the submission of quality nominees.

"If they don't get an appropriate nominee, they don't have to give it out every other year," DuBord said.

The Steamboat Springs Heritage Award, which began in honor of the city's centennial, was first awarded to John Fetcher in 2000.

"It was created in 1999 to honor an outstanding community member," Ivancie said.

Fetcher, a Harvard-trained engineer and businessman, was given the award for symbolizing Steamboat's ranching tradition and the spirit of its ski pioneers for five decades. Among the things Fetcher has built are a successful ranch on the upper Elk River that has turned into a national model for land conservation and a handful of dams and reservoirs that have met the Yampa Valley's water needs. He has constructed a legacy as a ski pioneer that includes working to build ski lifts and ski jumps at Howelsen Hill as well as the first chairlift at the Steamboat Ski Area.

The 2002 Heritage Award went to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Since 1914, the Winter Sports Club has helped train Olympians in a town that has produced more than any other in North America. The club first was established to organize the Winter Carnival.

In 2004, former City Council President Kevin Bennett was given the award for his open space preservation and work in the construction of Centennial Hall, an effort that preserved the Carver Power Plant and created a community meeting area and city offices. Bennett served eight years on the City Council, and seven as council president, before his term ended in 2001.

Jayne Hill was the winner of the 2006 Heritage Award for her dedication to historic preservation. Hill worked as the Steamboat Springs High School librarian for 17 years. In 1997, she led an effort to move and renovate the Utterback house, which was moved down Oak Street to become an addition to the Tread of Pioneers Museum. Hill helped raise $200,000 in less than two weeks for the project. Two years later, Hill - who also crafts the clues behind the annual Yule Log hunt - led an effort to restore the Mesa Schoolhouse at the base of Rabbit Ears Pass.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

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