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Carol Braun

A smiling Carol Braun sitting on mountaintop

What She Gave

In 2009 Carol Louise Braun gifted her $1 million estate, including her Estes Park home, to the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, the nonprofit partner to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Her home is being used to house student interns, and in keeping with Braun’s interest and support of the Association, the remaining amount of her gift was put toward the Next Generation Endowment which funds programs that inspire future generations to love, respect and protect nature. Carol’s gift was given without restrictions.

Why She Gave

Carol fell in love with the Colorado Rocky Mountains when she first visited in 1992. Over the years she continued to visit the mountains, and in 2003 followed her dreams. She arranged to continue her work transcribing medical records from home and moved from Kansas City, MO to Estes Park, Colorado. She purchased a home and in her spare time hiked the park trails and volunteered with the Colorado Mountain Club and the Rocky Mountain Nature Association.

Even after being diagnosed with cancer in 2008, Carol was still hiking the trails, taking pictures of wildflowers and enjoying the wildlife. She wanted to create a legacy that would help instill in others an appreciation of the mountains and stewardship for Rocky Mountain National Park. Before her death Carol met with Curt Buchholtz, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association to translate her wishes into a legacy that is now being realized through the Next Generation Fund.

“She just had a really deep appreciation of the beauty of this place,” said Nancy Wilson, special manager for the Nature Association.

Carol died in December, 2008 at the age of 51.

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A smiling Carol Braun standing on mountaintop
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