Lisa Zumpft has been chosen for the Citizen of the Season award for Spring 2010. Although she insists she isn’t 100% responsible, she has been the driving force behind Zion Harvest, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about healthy, local and sustainable foods. Zion Harvest sponsors the Springdale Farmers Market and the Community Garden. Lisa has also been an active leader in Z-Arts! and along with her husband, Tim Killen, has had a wine-tasting ‘club’ for several years. For the past four years she has also been a volunteer with the VIPERS, the Volunteers in the Parks who focus on propagating and planting indigenous plants in Zion National Park (and the Canyon Community Center as fantastic the vendors were great (as usual) and the well.)
Lisa and Tim came to Springdale in December, 2003. Lisa had lived in Las Vegas for 42 years, and though she had done ‘some gardening’ and had horses when she was very young, she didn’t get passionate about growing food, preserving food and providing opportunities to sell local foods until she came to Springdale and connected with people whose interests spurred her own.
“I am a connector. I connect people with people and needs with needs. I didn’t know that about myself until I came here. It’s an intuitive thing. Second nature. I didn’t try to develop that skill, but I might have learned it from watching my dad.”
She says she also learned to ‘be a doer’ from her father. “I have a friend whose business card only states his name and ‘Human Being’. “If I had a business card, it would say ‘Lisa Zumpft – Human Doer’.”
Getting 501(c)3 status (tax-exempt charitable organization) for Zion Harvest took some doing, for example “That was a big deal because I didn’t know what the IRS needed – I didn’t know the language to use on the application.” She learned, and a new educational organization was born. Zion Harvest’s mission: ‘To support citizens through educational programs and direct experience in farmers markets, community gardens and other activities related to local gardening and personal food production.’
Lisa and Tim decided to retire in Springdale after meeting some of the people in here. “We never considered Utah for a place to retire. “We had ‘criteria’ for the place we retired. It had to be near an international airport, it had to have a university and a lot of cultural opportunities, for example.
Then we went on a trip with our friend Michael Plyler and several other great people from Springdale. On that trip, we discovered that Springdale ‘wasn’t really in Utah’. Springdale was different because of the people. It was the people who brought us here.” The criteria list didn’t matter anymore.
Regarding the Citizen of the Season award: “There are so many other people who deserve this award more than I do,” states Lisa firmly. can’t take credit for anything. Other people support, collaborate and come up with the ideas. I just make the right connections and then ‘do’.”
The people in Springdale are lucky she does.