Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Ashley Kvitek Departs ABF


Last updated 7/22/2019 at 12:02am

Photo Courtesy of the Anza-Borrego Foundation

She'd never seen a desert except in photographs before coming to Borrego Springs. "What have I done?" Ashley Kvitek asked herself at the Montezuma Grade overlook upon her arrival in mid-August of 2013.

But since then, with six years on the job, coordinating education and outreach at the Anza-Borrego Foundation, plus running the overnight Camp Borrego program as well as guiding 4th- and 5th-grade Junior Rangers, Kvitek has been hooked.

"People make a place," she said. "I'm going to miss the people."

Kvitek worked successfully with both youth and adults, and had a well-attended going-away party at University of California Irvine Steele-Burnand Research Center June 24, co-workers and friends on hand to send her off.

On June 26, she said goodbye to Borrego Springs and will make her new home in Napa Valley, where she will be working with the Napa County Resource Conservation District.

"Ashley will be sorely missed. Her dedication to excellence and her constant creativity helped define ABF's education and outreach efforts," ABF President Dick Troy, said. "The Fifth Grade Camp and the Photo Contest are just two shining examples of how she contributed to ABF, the State Park and the local community."

She put it best with her parting remarks.

"I often think back on how I felt when I arrived in Borrego. I was not thrilled, but I was lucky, she said.

Kvitek recalled the time supervisor Briana Puzzo sent her on a ranger ride-along with the late Ranger Steve Bier.

"It was transformative," Kvitek said. "Seeing Steve's passion and love for this place opened my eyes to what was before me – a wonderland of nature filled with more things than anyone could learn in a lifetime. I knew then that I would be OK in Borrego."

She grew to love Borrego Springs, thanks to its people and all the new things she was able to experience.

"I stopped at the overlook on Montezuma Grade when I arrived, and stopped again on my way out. The fear I felt then has been replaced with love, and I will hold this place in a special spot in my heart," she said.

All the best, Ashley. Your energy and enthusiasm will be missed.

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