Congratulations to Board of Trustees member Deedee Decker and her late husband Peter who were awarded Colorado’s premier preservation award, the Dana Crawford award, by Colorado Preservation, Inc. Named after a prominent Colorado architectural preservationist, this award is the highest honor conferred by Colorado Preservation, Inc. (CPI) to individuals committed to preserving Colorado’s landscape for future generations. The Deckers were critical to the early founding of CPI; Deedee was one of CPI’s founding members in 1985. She helped create and develop the inaugural Dana Crawford and State Honor Awards.
For decades,Deedee and Peter Decker have worked hard on behalf of the citizens of Ouray County and the land itself. The Deckers moved to Ridgway from New York City in 1974. “In Ouray County, we felt quite quickly that we could help make a difference,” Deedee said.
In 1995, the Deckers were among the first to employ a conservation easement to protect their property from development in perpetuity. The Deckers also volunteered at numerous arts associations, the Ouray County Historical Society, and the Colorado Cattleman’s Agricultural Land Trust. The Deckers are also big supporters of 4H, which provides experiences where young people learn by doing in hands-on projects in areas including health, science, agriculture and citizenship.
Deedee Decker has worked on, and donated to, numerous local preservation initiatives, including the Institute of International Education, Denver Public Library Friends Foundation, the Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission, Ouray County Historical Society and Four Mile Historic Park, where she accepted the Dana Crawford Award earlier this month. She currently serves on the boards of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Telluride Foundation.
Sadly, we lost Peter Decker in December 2020. Named Ridgway-Ouray Community Council’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2008, Peter was an accomplished author passionate about chronicling and preserving the past. He held several influential positions in Ouray County. In the early 1980s, Peter chaired the Ouray County Planning Commission’s first Master Plan. Over the course of his lifetime, Peter was the Commissioner of Agriculture under Colorado Gov. Roy Romer, speechwriter for Sen. Robert Kennedy, and a professor of public policy at Duke University and professor of history at Fort Lewis College. Peter remained active on many boards, including the Denver Branch of Federal Reserve Bank, National Western Stock Show, and Colorado Commission on Higher Education under Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm.
For decades, the Deckers have worked together to conserve open spaces and further historic preservation. Although the Dana Crawford award has historically been used to honor preservation work, recognizing the Deckers’ conservation work is the first step of CPI’s plans to recognize as much on conservation as historic preservation in the future. Crow Canyon is proud to have been able to work alongside the Deckers for the past twenty years.
You can read more about the Deckers and the Crawford award at the Telluride Daily Planet.