October 3, 2016|By Claire Cooney| Support our Efforts

The Conservation Fund is national nonprofit and our staff members live across the country—from Southern California’s sunny coast to the rugged landscape of Maine and everywhere in between. Our dedicated staff works tirelessly to protect natural areas and redefine conservation, and can often be found out enjoying the spaces that they help conserve. 

A few years ago we started a friendly, internal competition called the “Moose Is Loose.” The “Moose Is Loose” is a fun opportunity to see the talented, dynamic and energetic staff at the Fund share their outdoor experiences. The rules for the competition are simple: spend time outdoors and share your photos and experiences with your colleagues. Each staff member receives points for sharing their adventures, and the ones with the most points at the end win! This year’s competition coincided with the National Park Service’s centennial celebration, and participants received extra points for partaking in outings at our national parks.

Their stories have been amazing—recounting trips to some of America’s most outstanding national parks and natural areas, as well as simple efforts like taking a longer walking route to see a new view and appreciate nature nearby. Hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, boating—the outdoor activities the Fund’s staff enjoys in their spare time are endless. 

This year’s grand champion was Holly Newberger. Following closely behind in total points and tied for second place were Katie Allen and Tom Pinit, and a special photography award went to Kenny Fahey. Many other staff members participated this year, and hopefully their stories and photos will inspire even more people to play next year! Check out some of the winning and most memorable Moose Is Loose 2016 submissions, and hear what our staff had to say about the contest:

Holly Newberger, North Coast Program Coordinator
"Getting out in nature on a regular basis is incredibly important to me. The Moose Is Loose contest inspired me to take the time to put on a backpack and really disconnect from the routines of everyday life by spending a long weekend in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The work we do at The Conservation Fund helps conserve these places of natural beauty that are so important for us all."

MIL HOLLY2A beautiful morning in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with reflections in Camp Lake, located in the Emigrant Wilderness in Stanislaus National Forest (7,500 feet elevation). Photo by Holly Newberger.

Katie AllenDirector, Conservation Leadership Network
"This contest was a great way to see and hear about my coworkers' summer vacations and outdoor adventures. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors year round, but this was an opportunity to get points for it! I had a lot of fun and actively sought out new activities (especially related to the NPS Centennial) not just for points...but that was a good incentive!"

MIL KatieAllenHurricane Hermine didn't rain on our outdoor fun! I submitted this photo of catching the sunset after a walk in the Delaware Seashore State Park. Photo by Katie Allen.

Tom Pinit, Associate, Conservation Ventures
"The Moose Is Loose contest this year took me to some new and beautiful natural lands and waters—places that nourish the soul and energize my work at the Fund."

MIL TomThis photo of a glorious sunset over Taku Harbor in Southeast Alaska was taken during an overnight outing. Photo by Tom Pinit.

Kenny Fahey, Food Ventures Associate
"At the Fund, we’re lucky to protect the places we love to play in and explore—the places where we can be wild, curious, and inspired. I’m reminded of that every time I step into a green space be it an urban park here in Seattle or a National Park. The challenge for us is only to get out there!"

MIL KennyFaheyThis photo was taken on Copper Ridge in North Cascades National Park a few hours north of Seattle, WA and just south of the international boundary with Canada. Clouds were rolling in dramatically as the sun set. You can just make out our tent in the grove of trees in the distance. It would rain and hail all night on that tent but, in this moment, the evening was perfect. Photo by Kenny Fahey.

Heather Richards, Senior Representative, Mitigation Solutions
"Moose Is Loose was a great way to connect not just with the land and work I do in my home state of Virginia, it was a roadmap to connect with the work of my colleagues around the country.  While on our road trip, we visited several places that the Fund has had a hand in protecting over the past 30 years.  My trip, as well as the sharing of stories from Fund staff across the country, was a window into the inspiration that keeps all of us working hard to protect land from the Chesapeake Bay to the Rocky Mountains and beyond."

MIL HeatherThe first day of Moose Is Loose found me in Badlands National Park on an extended road trip from Virginia to Montana and back again. Photo by Heather Richards.

Alyssa Kirk, Conservation Acquisitions Assistant
"I think the Moose Is Loose contest is the perfect activity for the Fund’s staff. Being outdoors and appreciating our land is exactly why we do what we do. I can’t even begin to explain how fulfilling it is to hike through a nature preserve or state park and know that you actually contributed to saving that piece of land. It is an incredible accomplishment and the Moose Is Loose contest really helps to get our staff outside and enjoy what we are working so hard for."

MIL Aly Winter Park Ski SlopesThis picture is a beautiful view of the Winter Park Ski Slopes in Colorado, taken from the historic Rollins Pass roughly 5 miles east from the ski area. Photo by Alyssa Kirk.

Ginny Moore
Midwest Field Representative
"I chose to submit this photo of The Blue River Greenway Trail for the Moose Is Loose because this trail is particularly special to me due to the years of work that many of us in Kansas City have devoted to improving water quality in the Blue River, a tremendous natural asset nestled in the heart of the Kansas City metro area. And I’m so excited that this work is continuing with awesome support from my colleagues at The Conservation Fund!"

MIL GInny Blue River GreenwayWalking my dog with my honey on the Blue River Greenway Trail in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Ginny Moore.