Hugh Denno has been an integral part of the Sugar Pine Foundation since 2007, when he first interned and produced our short film “The Seedling.” We were lucky to work with him then as he was planting the seeds that would grow into what is now an exciting and passion-filled career using art and wilderness experiences for education, restoration and community organizing both in Tahoe and Arizona.
Over much of the past decade, when he was away from saving our sweet sugar pines in Tahoe, Hugh was most often found working and playing in the red rock canyons and the green rivers of the southwest. He made a film called “Viva La Verde,” to educate and organize communities and do live presentations to teach people about the value of Arizona’s last living perennial river and the critical habitat it provides native wildlife. He says “If we can’t bring everyone to the river then we can use film to bring the river to the people.”
Through face to face networking and pure zeal, Hugh successfully turned the movie into a grassroots movement to bring communities, organizations and individuals together to better appreciate and protect his beloved Verde River. Remarkably, Hugh found funding to reach his goal of 100 free community and school screenings throughout Arizona and the Verde River region. This past November – after taking his show “on the road” to over 10,000 viewers at schools, libraries and community centers for nearly two solid years – Hugh celebrated the 100th live screening of his film to a packed audience of 500 people in Prescott, Arizona
After reaching this goal, Hugh finally decided to “come home” to California to spend time with his grandmother and rejoin us at the Sugar Pine Foundation! It has been at least two years since Hugh has been around to fascinate adults and children alike with his fantastic knowledge of the natural world. We are excited to have him back, but we know it’s just a matter of time before Hugh or his business, Hueman Productions, gets called to work elsewhere on another great project!
For now he’s already gotten back to work doing social media, making videos, and he will soon be planting trees. You will have to wait to meet Hugh in person after the social isolation measures to fully appreciate his talents!
In the meantime, check out this cute video of Hugh in the Emerald Fire burn scar – one of our planting sites this spring! Enjoy and – as he often says: “See Hugh soon!”
Our February & March Donors!
Tahoe Mountain Resort Foundation
A Living Tribute