I grew up on a farm in what is now Greenwood Village, with my 9 brothers and sisters.  I went to a 3 room school house on the corner of University Blvd. and Orchard Rd.  My Mom went back to work as a nurse after my Dad had a bad car accident.  She worked 7 days a week, 365 days per year, except for when it was time to go camping.  We were all Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts.  I also had a teacher in the 4th grade who signed us all up as members of the Audubon Society.  My brothers and I would play in Little Dry Creek catching crawdads.  On Sundays my Dad would frequently take us for rides in the mountains.  These early days developed my love of nature.  

In college I took an astronomy class as one of my science requirements on my way to become a Registered Nurse.  I started out as a med-surg nurse but soon developed the skills for critical care taking care of burn victims in private rooms.  I then started floating the city in critical care, neuro trauma being my specialty after working for a brief time at Craig Hospital.  I took care of more gunshot wounds than I care to remember, including the Columbine survivors.

I met my husband at Duffy’s Bar in downtown Denver, on St. Patrick’s Day 1981.  We married a year later in May.  It took us several years to discover we were both amateur astronomers.  This became a focus in our marriage.  Looking for dark skies and hauling telescopes around.  We’ve even been to a star party at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. 

Once I retired I started looking for something to fill my time.  I attended many different environmental groups before I landed on 350 Colorado. I attended their leadership training and became acquainted with a young attorney from Englewood.  We decided to take what we had learned in training back to our neighborhood and CASE was born.  CASE stands for Citizens Alliance for a Sustainable Englewood.  We are a group of about 20 people, who meet once per month and have accomplished quite a lot during our time together.  We got the biogas project done at our waste water treatment plant.  This is not a project I would normally support because it is after all a fossil fuel but I finally decided it was better than flaring the gas off which is what they had been doing for many years.  We signed Englewood up for the Xcel Renewable Connect which provides energy from renewable sources to run our buildings and industries.  We write brief articles for our neighbors in the Englewood Citizen, a quarterly publication put out by the city, talking about things like hard to recycle materials such as concrete, we’ve also written about pesticides and herbicides and rain gardens.  Our current projects include a pollinator garden at the Depot Park, a single hauler trash proposal and an organic turf building project scheduled to take place in the Fall.  One of our members is an energy efficiency expert.  She helped write the legislation on energy efficient appliances that was passed during the 2019 State legislative session.  We have also provided meals for our unhoused population.

My big issue became the oil & gas industry.  I remember as a child my parents talking about the toxic pollution Suncor put out.  Once Greenwood Village started building up they looked for other farm land up north and Suncor was always mentioned as a reason not to move up north.  Climate became my #1 issue.  Universal health care is my #2 issue.  Sensible gun control is the #3 issue.  As a healthcare professional, clean air, clean water and a clean environment is very important to me.  350 taught me how to be an activist against this very toxic industry of oil & gas.  I testify or send a public comment statement to every COGCC hearing, to every CDPHE-AQCC hearing and have now testified at 2 EPA hearings.  I’ve become a citizen lobbyist during the State legislative session and am a member of the CEHC (Colorado Environment and Health Coalition) a group who works on environmental legislation for our state.  On March 5, 2019, I stood by myself on the west steps of the capitol while 500 paid oil & gas workers were bused in to protest SB-181.  I held a sign that said, “Fracking=Climate Crisis.”

I am famous for my tie-dye and my exceptional hair genes.  The tie-dye comes from my activism against the war in VietNam during high school and college.  The hair gene is something all my family has been blessed with.  As I’ve always said, “A girl has to have one asset.”

350 Colorado is so grateful for Jan’s tireless work for a better world. She has been spotted testifying at numerous monthly COGCC hearings, at the Capitol during Climate Lobby Days, at numerous workshops and events, and has helped drive the creation and success of her local group. Thank you for all you do, Jan! We and the state of Colorado are lucky to have you!