Scott Gilmore, Opening the Gates: Making a National Wildlife Refuge Accessible to Diverse Communities, The Solutions Journal, Volume 10, Issue 1, January 2019, ( Abstract: As I contemplate how I would discuss the “Solution” to the challenges of making a seven-square mile piece of land, formerly considered one of the most polluted places on the planet, accessible to a community, I thought back to when I was a young man. During the 1980’s, growing up in the cultural and socioeconomic diverse community of Montbello located on the northeast side of Denver, I had no true connection to the natural world. We had a backyard and parks in the neighborhood, but there was never a push to engage with nature. Lucky for me, located within one mile of our home sat the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. We all knew that this is where “they” made stuff, bad stuff. At this facility, over a 60-year period, lots of things were produced: nerve gas, mustard gas, sarin bombs, fuel to take men to the moon, and numerous products and chemicals designed to kill people and insects. The by-products of these were placed in large pits in the center of the facility to sit and … Topics: Conservation