Kokatat Presents August's Volunteer of the Month–Hattie Johnson
By: Nathan Fey
American Whitewater recognizes Hattie Johnson as our August 2015 Volunteer of the Month!
As our motto says, Rivers need to be protected, restored and ENJOYED, and this is the key component of river stewardship that Hattie has helped address this past month. On July 13th, Hattie took over the feeding, caring, and planning of Colorado's Gore Fest, and by the kick-off on August 21st, it was clear she knocked it out of the park!
American Whitewater has a long history on the Upper Colorado River and Gore Canyon - as former organizers of the annual Gore Canyon races and more recently as leaders in the permanent protection of Colorado River flows and the establishment of the Gore Canyon Whitewater park. AW is front and center in the protection and enhancement of the Colorado River, and we are thankful for volunteers like Hattie and the paddlers that have attended events that bring paddlers together in celebration. Hattie Johnson stepped up for AW this year, and agreed to help make the 2015 Gore Fest a highlight in the region. And it was a big success, thanks to Hattie!
Fresh off of coordinating other events in the Colorado River basin, Hattie attended the opening ceremony of the Gore Canyon Whitewater Park in Grand County as the landscape architect at RiverRestoration inc. After discussing Gore Fest with AW and BLM staff, she agreed to take on organizing race logistics, timing, shuttles, sponsors, and raffle items, with only one month until the event. She worked with vendors in Grand County to ensure that the festival stays home-grown- with local music, food vendors, and sponsorship from Kremmmling-based outfitters. This is what river festivals are all about - community!
On behalf of everyone that attended the race as a participant or spectator, we want to thank Hattie for making this years Gore Fest such a success. Hattie's enthusiasm and love for the river and her fellow paddlers made it happen. You rock Hattie!!
In recognition of Hattie's contributions, she will receive a custom Kokatat X-Jacket.