David Barrett wears a black suit, and a silver stud in his left ear peeks out from behind strands of wavy gray hair. In the darkened room, he's flicking through slides: of the earth's spiral-shaped galaxy, an image of a carbon atom, shots of curved and graceful buildings. He quotes William Faulkner, Buckminster Fuller, and Jimi Hendrix.
It's a Thursday evening in Boulder and a crowd of environmental educators, donors, and parents huddle inside the Hotel Boulderado while a fluke late-spring snowstorm dumps a half foot of snow outside. They're intently listening as Barrett, an architect, describes his plans for a new children's nature center in Nederland. "We're all like sponges. We have the opportunity to connect with the planet, with the miracle of life," he says, scanning his audience as if to make sure they feel his passion.