There is so much to feel joyful for in April. Because it is Earth month, many activists feel the connection deepen or renew this time of year, and this is true too for all those who just generally adore this precious planet we call home. While things will be busy with events, actions, and more, we are celebrating! And no celebration would be complete without uplifting the Climate Hero of the Month, Randy Willard!

“I am a semi-retired database engineer that is deeply concerned about the state of our planet.  I heard about the Lowry CAP and started on my own contacting city and state personnel before linking up with the Save The Aurora Reservoir group.  Since then we have been fighting the frack in SE Aurora.”


And what a fight it has been! For a little context to this story:

Randy first got in touch with 350 Colorado’s Beyond Oil and Gas Coordinator, Bobbie Mooney, in April of 2023 due to Randy’s concern about oil and gas fracking proposed for his area of Southeast Aurora. Randy’s strong sense of justice, sarcastic wit, and warmth shone immediately. He was fired up and ticked off about the massive and dangerous proposal to drill over 160 oil and gas fracked wells under his neighborhood and the precious Aurora Reservoir. Bobbie soon got Randy connected to others in his community organizing with Save The Aurora Reservoir (STAR), and Randy jumped into the grassroots movement to protect his neighborhood with both feet! 

“The destruction of our beautiful, pristine state is appalling and I am doing everything I can to prevent the largest permitted project in Colorado history.” – Randy

One of the first events Randy organized was tabling at the Aurora Reservoir as part of the nation-wide End the Era of Fossil Fuels week of action in June 2023. With table, tent, posters, banners, and flyers, Randy and other STAR members took action together that day to raise awareness and start conversations with others who value the Aurora Reservoir. After the event was over, Randy took it upon himself to hang the “Phase Out Fracking 2030” banner on his fence at home to further educate his community about the need to protect Colorado from fracking. 

But Randy was just getting started! Through consistently showing up and contributing his energy, creativity, and leadership skills, Randy gradually moved into an informal and then a form leadership role within STAR. Randy has been central to keeping the team of volunteers on track during meetings and in general with the myriad tasks before them as they organize and strategize to protect their homes and the Reservoir from the proposed onslaught of drilling and fracking. The situation is scary, frustrating, and often discouraging, but Randy keeps going and helps other volunteers keep going too.

Though practical, focused, and determined in the work to educate and activate the public about the threat of fracking, Randy is also highly attuned to team dynamics and the needs of individual team members. Randy even welcomed the STAR team and staff members from supporting organizations into his home for some much needed social connection while he treated us to a delightful taste of his outstanding culinary and sommelier skills. Fighting fracking in Colorado is not for the faint of heart, and consistently Randy shows up with big heart for the cause and everyone working on it.

Randy has also been a consistent presence on 350 Colorado’s Fracking Action Committee that meets biweekly on Zoom to share and learn more about oil and gas operations in Colorado, to discuss strategies to curtail and hold accountable the industry, and to take action together towards a better future beyond oil and gas. (Sign up for more info about the Committee here!) Randy regularly provides updates to the Committee on the fracking fight in Southeast Aurora, and has even served as a facilitator for the Committee meetings when needed. Randy’s hand is often one of the first to go up when there is a need for volunteers to take on a task, big or small. He plans, writes, makes timelines, researches, contacts, tracks down, and follows up! We can also count on Randy to bring the latest news on developments in Colorado, the nation, and the world regarding fracking, fossil fuels in general, and climate change. Not only is Randy always up to date on the latest, but he shares his hot takes on the often frustrating news with his signature sarcasm and good humor. 

Seemingly driven by equal parts curiosity and righteous anger, Randy is always looking to learn more and better understand the complexities of oil and gas production in Colorado. He asks good questions, praises others easily, and thoughtfully contributes to the discussion in the countless hours of zoom meetings he volunteers to attends on every aspect of the movement to protect public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources from fracking. 

“I very much appreciate the recognition here as a long time climate worrier I am now a full time warrior,” said Randy. “Sort of any over-the-hill Greta ;-). Regardless, I am very disappointed in our state and its approach to this horrible industry.  The destruction of our beautiful, pristine state is appalling and I am doing everything I can to prevent the largest permitted project in Colorado history.”

“This is a very supportive community and I greatly value the contributions of 350 Colorado  as well as our other partners: Colorado Sierra Club, Colorado Rising and climate movement co.  Keep up the good work brothers and sisters in the fight I honor your work every day.” 350 Colorado and STAR are lucky to have you Randy on our teams! We couldn’t be more grateful for your time, talent, humor, and heart in this work to preserve a liveable future beyond oil and gas.


Want to be our next Climate Hero of the month? Join the climate movement and shine with your unique skills! Email