Our mission is to steward natural resources through collaboration, education and connectivity to sustain a healthy economy, community and environment.
Although we might all agree that our physical resources on this planet are not infinite, we believe that there is infinite ingenuity for creative, sustainable solutions to challenges right here in our local communities. Infinite West was born out of the desire to combine social resources through collaboration, to approach challenges head on. Our mantra is the ‘Triple Bottom Line’, where communities and their supporting ecosystems can all win – financially, environmentally and socially.
On a late summer evening in 2009, Liz McIntyre, Nat Havens and Tim Hodsdon were gathered on Nat’s porch in Fraser, Colorado, looking out over the graying hillside. The pine beetle epidemic was just reaching its peak, and the trees were dying fast. Grand County had just lost its last recycling resource. The economy was in a very tough place. The conversation took a turn from discouragement at these events, to a series of ‘what ifs?’ What if we could do something beneficial with all of the dying trees? What if we could support locally owned recycling programs? What if we could promote up-cycling? What if we could be stewards of our land and at the same time boost prosperous, sustainable economies?
The result that year was the Grand County Recycling Forum, hosted by a fledgling not-for-profit Infinite West, at Snow Mountain Ranch, that involved over 65 local and regional stakeholders, all gathered together to find a way to bring recycling, up-cycling and resource conservation back into our community vernacular. Infinite West was born on that late summer evening in Fraser out of those ‘what if?’ questions. Infinite, because we have infinite potential for finding sustainable solutions. West because, well the West has always represented the frontier. Except this new frontier changes the paradigm from exploitation of natural resources to cooperation with them.
Since then Infinite West has organized the first Earth Day celebrations in Grand County since the 1970s, hosted numerous educational talks in the county, provided headwaters conservation education through funding from the Spirit of the Lake Regatta, built a comprehensive sustainability collection in local libraries, and is now building permaculture gardens in places like Fraser.
We haven’t done any of these things alone – our philosophy is built on the idea that collaboration is the only way to get things done. This is especially true in the realm of sustainability, where solutions must recognize our inter-dependence upon one another, our environment, so that we can not only survive, but thrive.
If you like what you hear, you can learn more by following our blog, donate, or become directly involved as a volunteer. We look forward to collaborating with you!