News & Stories
Updating Our Mission & Values
Dear Loppet Community –
What a community we have! Hundreds of us gathered last night for the Loppet Community Celebration at the Trailhead to share food, warm up by the fires, blow bubbles, play on hay bales, cavort under the canopy of Theodore Wirth’s changing oak leaves and share stories. I heard so many inspiring stories – about your experience coaching Trail Kids, your proud memories as Junior Loppet participants, and how our partnership has supported your organizations. All night long, I was absorbing pure love from this community and our experiences together – and that feeling has lingered this morning as a gentle blanket of snow reminds us that soon there will be even more reasons to love the outdoors and the Loppet!
It was also particularly meaningful to share our updated mission and values, developed through months of community, staff, and Board engagement. We heard you! You love the ways we connect with one another and you love being connected to the outdoors – whether it’s biking, skiing, running, lingering on the Trailhead patio – or any of the myriad ways we enjoy the outdoors. And just as your stories revealed last night – you love how these connections foster community. From the Wednesday Women’s group to our year-round middle school teams – each connection to the outdoors fosters relationships that are deep and sustaining. We’ve translated these sentiments into a mission statement that reflects the core work we are doing today:
“Connecting people to the outdoors through experiences that grow community”
This mission is strengthened by our updated values, which reinforce our commitment to co-create programs, spaces and events that are inclusive and playful, that can sometimes be adventurous, and that provide the well-being that is associated with a connection to the outdoors. Read more about our updated values and our mission here or below.
Of course, missions and values are wonderful. But they are only statements if they are not paired with intentions that lead to action. Over the past several years leading this beloved community, I have continued to deepen my understanding and recognition that we cannot fulfill our mission of growing community and connection without directly addressing the barriers that exist to outdoor connections for many of us – including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.
As a part of our process to intentionally dismantle these barriers, the Foundation has spent the past several months deeply engaged in creating a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion framework that is informing our ongoing work. At the Spirit of the Loppet event this spring, many of us heard Dudley Edmonson, author of Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Spaces, challenge us to address the pervasive whiteness of outdoor spaces. The Loppet Foundation is committed to doing so. Just a few of the ways we are living into that commitment include investments in equity capacity building, diversifying our staff and Board, activating an equity committee to hold us accountable to and help implement our internal goals, and partnering intentionally with other BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ led organizations. The Foundation has been extraordinarily lucky to have been guided in this work by our partners at E&T Consulting. They have become part of our family – providing consistent DEI sessions for our staff and on-going consultation on the development of our framework. I encourage you to read more about our collective work here.
We ask you to join us in this work as we strive to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment in Theodore Wirth and beyond. There are so many ways to start. Bring a friend to the park who has never visited us before. If you are an experienced skier/mountain biker/runner – greet newcomers on the trail with enthusiasm and encouragement. Check out and support our partners in their work. Take time to read all the community materials and art exhibited in the Trailhead. Ask staff about how they are engaging in racial equity work. Tell us new ways to be and new organizations to invite in. Connect with us through experiences that grow the community! (see what I did there?!)
I look forward to living into our mission and values with all of you. Together I know we will create a more just and joyful outdoor community.
In gratitude for you –
Claire Wilson, Executive Director
Our Mission: Connecting people to the outdoors through experiences that grow community.
- Anti-Racism: Addressing and dismantling historical and systemic inequities in outdoor spaces, and evolving into an anti-racist organization.
- Collaboration: Recognizing that we are one piece of a broader community working together to create change. Building strong partnerships is vital to sustaining and living out our values.
- Growth: Challenging ourselves to grow, by creating an environment for improvement, performance and achievement
- Inclusion: Committing to offering spaces, programming, and events that are inviting and accessible to all individuals seeking community in the outdoors.
- Play: Finding ways to add adventure, discovery and joy into all seasons.
- Stewardship: Providing mindful and responsible management of resources – including people, the land, and financial assets entrusted to our care.
- Well-Being: Knowing that a connection to the outdoors is crucial to mental, physical and social health.