One of our favorite traditions each year is recognizing a Volunteer of the Year. This is always a very difficult decision for our staff as each and every one of our volunteers deserves special recognition for their contributions. Oddly enough, this year’s recipient was rather confused about how he even qualified as a volunteer. When we invited John Harner to the appreciation luncheon he was hesitant, sharing that he hated to have us provide him lunch when he, “wasn’t even really a volunteer.” We are thrilled to share with you just some of the ways John qualifies — and even goes above and beyond!
As an accomplished professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at UCCS, Dr. Harner generously spent two sabbaticals researching in our archives, working his way through boxes and boxes of photographs and pouring over maps to explore our regional history and geography. As a cultural geographer, John’s work cleverly combines the study of the past alongside current landscapes to understand how we have shaped this place, and this place has shaped us. John was part of the earliest brainstorming sessions with the CSPM team where the Story of Us project was first imagined, and afterwards designed the dynamic maps and then & now photograph features in our award-winning storytelling platform.
All of this work has culminated in his new book Profiting From the Peak: Landscape and Liberty in Colorado Springs that will be out this summer! Also, if you spend some time on the new virtual COS@150 exhibit website you’ll notice that John wrote, as one of our community partners, over twenty of the 150 long-form narratives that accompany our virtual COS@150 exhibit.
In addition to his scholarly pursuits, John has been a wonderful member of our CSPM Board of Directors, which he joined in early 2019. He has been a great ambassador sharing with friends, family and colleagues about the CSPM’s work. He participated in the Online Gift of History last year as a Table Captain and shared his connection with participants about his Museum experience.
He also recently joined the Programs Committee where he helps develop ideas for community programming. John is passionate about local history, is dedicated to our mission, and is always willing to step up when needed. Perhaps most importantly, he is an ambassador for the work of the CSPM. John is always willing to sing our praises, connect us to community resources, and lend a helping hand. Finally, John has a great sense of humor and really enjoyed the free lunch!
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum staff is so pleased to recognize John Harner as the 2020 Volunteer of the Year!
Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon
It was all smiles at this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. We were thrilled to connect, reflect, and celebrate their many accomplishments. Thank you for everything!