Each year, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) puts more than 5,000 volunteers on the ground to care for Colorado’s natural places from city parks to open spaces, grasslands, foothills, and alpine peaks.
But the people behind-the-scenes are just as important to our success. To celebrate their contributions and help you get to know them better, we’ll feature different members of our Board of Directors from time to time. Today, we’re putting Gerald Free in the spotlight!
Gerald is the Director of Integrated Planning (DJ Basin) for Noble Energy and is passionate about the outdoor life in Colorado. He’s an outdoorsman by nature; he and his family enjoy hiking, winter sports and experiencing the great outdoors near his home in Evergreen. He’s taken that love and commitment to the Colorado lifestyle to his work with VOC.
After volunteering for several VOC projects, he embraced an opportunity to join the VOC board in 2017. Gerald is proud to represent Noble Energy, an oil and gas company, on the board of VOC, because it demonstrates Noble’s commitment to ensuring Colorado remains a great place to live, work and explore.
Environmental stewardship is a huge part of the way Noble does business in Colorado, a state with some of the strongest environmental regulations and standards in the country. “I’ve worked in other states, and I can tell you that the commitment to protecting the environment in this state is second to none,” said Gerald. “We’re all proud to call Colorado home, and volunteering with VOC, as well as providing financial support to the organization, is important to Noble and its employees.”
In addition to direct financial support, Noble has also donated computers, audio visual equipment, office furniture and a project vehicle for the VOC Headquarters Office (at the Dos Chappell Bathhouse) inside Denver's Washington Park. As VOC’s Director of Community Relations & Strategic Partnerships, Anna Zawisza, explained, the Ford F150 truck could not have come at a better time. “As VOC’s current fleet began showing its age, we were facing the very real possibility of a substantial capital outlay to purchase a new used vehicle. The donated truck, affectionately named ‘Noble’, quickly became the vehicle of choice for our field staff and in just five short months, traveled 6,000 miles across the state. We cannot begin to thank Noble Energy enough for this generous donation.”
In 2017, Gerald and a group of Noble employees worked on a number of VOC projects including the Wigwam Trail in the 120,000-acre Lost Creek Wilderness Area, about 60 miles southwest of Denver. Employees sweated it out building trails and stream crossings and are looking forward to more outdoor volunteer projects in 2018.
Join Gerald and volunteers of all ages and abilities in caring for Colorado this year by signing up for one of our 50+ public volunteer projects at www.voc.org/volunteer!
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