by Colorado Open Lands staff, republished with permission
Meet Griselda Landa-Posas! Griselda joined Colorado Open Lands (COL) this year as a Morgridge Family Foundation Land Stewardship Fellow.
Griselda earned her B.S. in Wildlife & Conservation Biology along with a minor in Ethnic Studies. She has worked for the National Park Service in Alaska and Florida and most recently worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Oregon and for Environment for the Americas, a non-profit based in Boulder, CO. She is excited to be a part of the COL stewardship team! Read on for our interview.
My parents grew up in a rural part of Mexico, at the southernmost point of monarch butterfly habitat. They grew up with a very close connection to the land. Then they emigrated to Colorado. One of my fondest memories was going with them to natural areas. We’re a really big family–six kids–and going to natural areas was affordable for us. That sparked my interest in this field. My dad is a naturalist himself, even though he doesn’t have a scientific degree. He’s always been so knowledgeable about the outdoors and that’s something I’ve always admired him for. He could describe plants in Colorado, even though he didn’t grow up here. He does construction–the outdoors isn’t his field-but he cared enough to learn. When we’re in Mexico, that’s his stomping grounds and he’s even more knowledgeable. That’s how I got inspired to do this work. It is something my parents loved, but it wasn’t an option for them to study nature in school and make a living in this field.
The best part of Colorado Open Lands is the culture. To have this job where what I’m doing is really impactful and meaningful and the career I love, and at the same time to have an awesome community and work environment. It’s the first time those things have all aligned for me. It is also so special to get the opportunity to explore so much of Colorado’s beautiful and varied wide open spaces and have that be part of my job! To get paid to do that is truly special.
I know there’s a lot of people moving in, but I’d like to see a large portion of Colorado maintained as open lands and beautiful places people can go and enjoy. I’m hoping we can develop sustainably because I know the population will keep growing as well. Finding that balance where we can allow people to move in and keep it affordable but still also plan for lots of beautiful open space.
I’d also like to see larger plots of land affordable to a wider variety of people. Conservation easements can help allow for a more diverse background of people to be able to afford to farm if that’s the lifestyle they want. A lot of people have been kept out of farming. I’m glad we’re working towards changing that.
I’m grateful for having this community and the fact that we all play such an important role in different ways. It’s important to see such a variety of people with really different backgrounds all coming together for a common purpose. It’s really inspiring. I think we should all be proud of ourselves!