The neighborhood icon pictured above was inspired by the original logo used by Perl-Mack Homes Inc. to market its newest housing development in 1966. After the success of building Northglenn and Southglenn (now Centennial), Perl-Mack developed a suburban-style housing development east of then-Stapleton International Airport. Cut off from the city of Denver, Montbello developed a distinct identity that was largely nurtured by the Gilmore family, especially Scott and Stacie Gilmore... The Gilmore household is a perfect reflection of the diversity of the Montbello neighborhood: Scott, a Denver native of African-American and Japanese heritage, is married to Stacie, who is of Latino heritage. As parents of three children, the two wildlife biologists are experts at "tricking" kids into learning about science, nature and social justice through the fun of fishing, hiking and camping. And they teach it from the heart.
Scott Gilmore worked at a warehouse to put himself through college, but his passion was volunteering at a state park to teach the public about the environment and its importance to wildlife. After speaking to a recruiter at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the lack of people of color in the field, Scott quit his full-time job at 26 and moved to Fort Collins to study wildlife biology at Colorado State University.
After graduating in 1984, he was immediately hired by the Colorado Division of Wildlife to to help create an urban fishing program that would introduce inner-city youth to the importance of environmental conservation through the joys of fishing. And then, to increase diversity in natural resources, Scott and Stacie co-founded the non-profit Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) in 1996.
ELK programming educates youth by providing opportunities to groups that have not traditionally sought careers in natural resource fields: specifically females, people of color and students with limited access to the outdoors. The program boasts a graduation rate of 98 percent. ELK also has raised over $75,000 in scholarships to ensure graduates fulfill their college goals. But the education doesn't stop with kids.
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Scott and Stacie also teach workshops that focus on the issues of privilege and power in creating stereotypes that prevent equality in natural resource management organizations. From biodiversity to cultural diversity, Scott and Stacie are empowering Montbello's promise to help put the colorful back into Colorado.