Frum retires as VNC director

       Bonnie Frum, the operations director at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center since 1997, will retire Sept. 28.

Bonnie Frum, shown inside the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center this week, will retire as its director of operations Sept. 28. She has worked at the Garden for the past 18 years and was director since 1997.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Age 67, she'd once planned on working till she was 70. “But I started thinking, 'Will I still be walking then? So it feels like the right time.”
       No replacement has been announced, although Frum said the Garden of the Gods Foundation, which owns the center, sees this as an “opportunity to reevaluate all the positions.” In the meantime Linda Carter, a long-time part of the center's management, will take over her responsibilities, Frum explained.
       “I'm excited to have less money and more time,” she said, noting that one of her main goals is to spend more time with her five children and five grandchildren (the last of whom was just born).
       But she did say she will miss her job and co-workers. “It can get crazy and bizarre with visitors, but it's been great fun too… It's been much more than a job; it's been a passion for me. It's a neat thing to have a job with a sense of a mission.”
       She's not leaving the Garden totally behind, saying she will be a volunteer greeter for the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) restoration workdays this fall. And, John Demmon, president of the volunteer group, Friends of Garden of the Gods (FOGG), announced happily that Frum has agreed to be on the FOGG board next year.
       Frum moved to this area in 1967 to work for Young Life, then stepped back to raise her family. She started with the Visitor & Nature Center in 1994, when it was still being run out of a remodeled private house off Juniper Way Loop.
       As operations director, Frum worked most of her career for Lyda Hill, who built the new center in 1995 across 30th Street from the Garden of the Gods at 30th Street and Gateway Road. Hill set it up so that the center donates a percentage of its retail earnings to City Parks for Garden preservation. Hill gave the center to the foundation late last year.
       “Bonnie was invaluable as we opened the Visitor Center in 1995 since she had worked at the old Visitor Center in the Garden,” Hill said in an e-mail. “She has done a wonderful job of developing the volunteer program to almost 150 volunteers today. Likewise she is a marvelous advocate for our city as she handles hundreds of motor coach tours. We will all miss her dedication and love of the Garden.”

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