Shadowcliff Opens for the Season on Memorial Day. Now Taking Reservations!
  • by kathy
  • · June 13, 2013

Shadowcliff and the National League of Cities are proud to announce:

The Second Annual  


Practical Steps to Approach & Plan for Sustainability

August 10-14, 2014


An Interactive Workshop for Sustainability Managers/Coordinators and others with an emphasis on small to medium size communities: 

You have been designated as the Sustainability Manager/Coordinator for your town/city/county with expectations for you to achieve and perhaps some suggestions from a variety of sources, but little funding or guidance from experienced professionals. How do you create or expand the sustainability plan for your city/town/county? What are the most important first or next steps in making that plan a reality?  What resources exist both within and beyond the local community? 

Answers to these and other challenges are the focus of this workshop. We have gathered Chief Sustainability Officers from other communities who have “been there/done that” and are excited about their work and want to share their experiences with others. The workshop will provide an overview of “triple bottom line” approaches, strategies for gaining buy-in from diverse interests, identifying the low-hanging fruit and the next steps toward implementation. When you leave Shadowcliff you will have an outline of a Sustainability Plan specifically designed for your community created by you with the help of other workshop participants and the guidance of our faculty. With the backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park, the town and waters of Grand Lake and the fifty year history of Shadowcliff Lodge. You will actually enjoy this great work experience. 

How have past participants described this workshop?

“Not only did I learn new material from the excellent staff while at Shadowcliff (which was the perfect venue), but the concrete plan I took away has lead to real progress in our sustainability programs back in our city. In addition, the contacts I made have been very valuable, and we continue to communicate, share information, and explore opportunities for collaboration. No other workshop or conference I have attended has ever provided such a variety of benefits.”

“The 2013 Shadowcliff workshop was an outstanding opportunity to share real-world experiences with other sustainability directors from all over the US. It began with a broad theoretical framework, continued with stimulating presentations from high-achieving colleagues, and ended with each of us devising and committing to specific plans for the near future. The high faculty/participant ratio allowed extensive one-on-one consultation”

Costs: The Sustainability Coordinators Workshop models our collaborative principles by providing one all-inclusive registration fee of $900 per person, based on double occupancy, includes workshop registration and all materials, 4 nights lodging and all meals. Single room accommodations are available upon request for an additional fee. Southwest Airlines travel vouchers are available on first-come, first-serve basis.

Contact:  Bob Mann, program director at  or 970-627-9220 



Dennis Murphey has been the Chief Environmental Officer for Kansas City, Missouri since March 2006.  He works directly for the City Manager, manages the City’s Office of Environmental Quality, and provides guidance and leadership to City departments on integrating climate protection and sustainability into all city operations.  He serves the City Manager, Mayor, and City Council as their primary advisor and source of information on environmental issues relevant to city operations, programs, and policies. He directed the development of Kansas City’s Climate Protection Plan and also oversees implementation of the plan to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals of 30% by 2020, community-wide and in city government operations. He promotes regional partnerships between the public and private sectors to address environmental issues and to incorporate sustainability principles into decisions made and actions taken across the metropolitan area. 

Dennis has 37 years of environmental management experience in the public and private sectors.  

nicole woodmanNicole Woodman has been the Sustainability Manager for the City of Flagstaff, Arizona since 2007. Her work focuses on the development of effective planning, policies and programs that serve as a catalyst for long-term sustainability in the community and municipal organization. Her programmatic priorities include energy efficiency, climate adaptation and resiliency, open space, waste reduction, community gardens, renewable energy, and community well-being. Recently Nicole directed the City’s Resiliency and Preparedness Study and managed the City’s first renewable energy Power Purchase Agreement. 

Nicole’s professional strengths include program development and management in the non-profit, academic and government sectors. Prior to joining the City of Flagstaff as the Sustainability Manager, she worked as the Program Manager for the Coconino County Sustainable Economic Development Initiative and the Outreach Director for the Texas Unit of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. Nicole holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Kansas, a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Master’s Degree in Cultural Geography from Northern Arizona University. When not at work, Nicole can be found exploring the great outdoors with her husband.  

bob mann

Robert J. “Bob” Mann, Shadowcliff Associates Sustainability Consultant and Trainer. Bob practiced law for twenty-five years, founded Bridging The Gap, Inc., the mid-westʼs largest environmental education organization in Kansas City and with his wife served as Co-director of Shadowcliff from 2001-2012. Bob has facilitated more than fifty multi-day sustainability, environmental and planning workshops at Shadowcliff including participants of all ages and levels of experience. Bob has extensive experience in working with elected and staff leaders from municipal, county and state governments and has provided training services on sustainability principles to the Environmental Protection Agency in Region 7 & 8.  Bob brings people together and helps all of us see the importance of the natural world in our daily lives.

 bruce hendeeBruce Hendee is Chief Sustainability Officer in Fort Collins, Colorado. He has over 30 years of experience as a landscape architect. As the founder and CEO of BHA Design he directed a highly successful landscape architecture firm in Fort Collins, Colorado for 20 years before selling the company to his partners in 2010. During his tenure at BHA, he personally directed the office’s efforts on numerous LEED certified projects including building his own LEED certified office building. He also developed nationally awarded design guidelines for the natural stormwater detention projects. Upon leaving BHA, he subsequently joined the City of Fort Collins as an Assistant to the City Manager and Chief sustainability Officer. As CSO for the City he developed a unique division within the city organization based on the Triple Bottom Line. Today the city division consists of the Economic Health, Social Sustainability and Environmental Sustainability Departments.

eileen hornEileen Horn is the Sustainability Coordinator for Douglas County and the City of Lawrence, KS.  In that role, she coordinates the city and county initiatives in areas ranging from energy efficiency to local food.  In addition, she serves as chief public contact for these initiatives, and coordinates citizen outreach programs to communicate the city and county sustainability goals and projects.  Also, Eileen coordinates the Douglas County Food Policy Council, the first local government food policy council in the state of Kansas.  The Council has had significant success in its three years, including an award-winning community garden and urban farming program that leases vacant city-owned lots to growers and farmers.  Previously, Eileen worked as the Education/Outreach Coordinator for the Climate and Energy Project, where she co-created an award-winning energy efficiency contest between six Kansas municipalities, and founded the Kansas chapter of Interfaith Power and Light, assisting congregations as they put their faith into action to address climate change.  Eileen holds an M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont, and B.S. in Biology from the Catholic University of America.



Sunday August 10, 2014

3:00-5:00 Check-in and registration

5:00-6:00 Informal reception and orientation

6:00-7:00 Evening meal

7:15-8:45 Setting the Stage; Workshop Goals


Monday August 11, 2014

7:30-8:15 Breakfast Buffet

8:45-10:00 Maximizing the Commons; the role of collaboration Robert J. Mann

  • An exercise that demonstrates the tragedy of the commons in small groups
  • Identification of the commons” in our world today
  • Methods of protecting/using the “commons”

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-12:00 This Thing Called “Sustainability” -Faculty 

  • Exploring social, economic and environmental perspectives
  • Triple bottom line thinking
  • Systems thinking/acting avoiding unintended consequences
  • Resilience, restorative
  • Role of language in decision making

12:00-1:00 Lunch

2:00-4:00 The Laws of Nature are Not Just Good Ideas-an interpretive hike in Rocky Mountain             National Park exploring nature’s laws and their relationship to sustainability planning

  • Hike is used as vehicle for demonstrating natures operating principles
  • Seeing how nature may provide guidelines for human decision making

6:00-6:45 Evening Meal

7:00-8:45 The Challenges We Bring 

  • Participants sharing the three main challenges they face in their own communities (focused in advance by a survey asking them to identify short term, mid-term and long term challenges)


Tuesday  August 12, 2014

7:30-8:15 Breakfast Buffet

8:45-10:15 The Challenge of Balancing Long Term and Short Term Decision Making- Faculty members

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:00 Penetrating Silos Sustainably! The Faculty

  • Creating win/win situations
  • Understanding differences; elected leaders, staff leaders, community leaders
  • Thinking like a partner

1:15-3:15 Positive & Negative Role of Measurement The  Faculty

  • Knowing what to measure & what it means
  • Acknowledging the un-measureable
  • Measurement versus implementation challenges

6:00-7:00 Dinner

7:15-8:45 The Power of a Systems Based Approach to Sustainability –  Robert J. Mann

  • Introduction to systems thinking
  • Macy/Meadows/Lazlo approaches
  • Seeing the intersections


Wednesday August 13, 2014

7:30 – 8:15 Breakfast Buffet

8:45-12:00 Addressing Sustainability Challenges   – Working with each participant’s previously identified challenges and identifying some possible “next steps” (led by faculty with small group interaction)

  • Breaking into smaller groups with faculty leadership
  • Tackling each community in the smaller group
  • Sharing results with larger group

10:15-10:30 Break

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:15- 4:15 Addressing Sustainability Challenges– continuation of the morning session

  • Repeat the process/ create plan outlines for each community

6:00- 6:45  Evening Meal

7:00-9:00 Rocky Mountain National Park-a driving tour experiencing the connections

10:00 Quiet Time


Thursday August 14, 2014

7:15- 8:00 Breakfast Buffet

8:30- 9:45   Closing- Putting it Together and Taking it With Us –Faculty

  • Inspiration/Motivation/Challenge
  • Importance of staying in contact with others with similar challenges