To foster an equitable local food system that restores the health of the people, community, economy, and ecosystem.
The Rio Grande Farm Park holds at its core Preservation and Creation: the preservation of the San Luis Valley’s agricultural heritage, precious water resources, and open public spaces; and the creation of economic development, healthy living practices, and educational opportunities.
The Rio Grande Farm Park is located East of Alamosa in south-central Colorado on Hwy 17 just north of Hwy 160.
Preserving & Creating
Our land, and our connection to it, is disappearing. Whether rural or urban, there’s a constant struggle between conserving and developing a rich and beautiful piece of land. Fortunately, the property that was the Polston Elementary school has become the Rio Grande Farm Park.
See Our Story for more details.
As it is now, visitors can stroll across the Rio Grande from downtown across a pedestrian bridge. From there, they can walk along the trails to view the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, watch water fowl, and breathe fresh, clear air. During the summer, they can watch the progress of crops grown with regenerative farming techniques and explore the apple orchard. They can take their children for picnic at the Nature Play Area, volunteers to improve and enjoy the land, and find Farm Park-grown produce at local farmers and roadside markets.
Over the Years
The Rio Grande Farm Park develops programs, infrastructure, and activities each year to help meet the mission of the organization.
See Master Plan for the community’s overall vision.
- SLV Local Foods Coalition officially gained ownership of the RGFP land from the Trust for Public Land.
- Started the Farmer Incubator program at the Park.
- The farm supported 8 incubator farmers with plots of one acre or less.
- There were community workshops on topics such as organic farming, building soil with green manure, and permaculture techniques.
- The farm supported 7 incubator farmers with plots ranging from 1/4 of an acre to 1.5 acres.
- The environmental education program expanded its impact, interacting with 130 local youth.
- The RGFP installed local art pieces on the land with funding from the Arts in Society grant.
- The Farm Park installed a drip irrigation system, fencing around the park perimeter, and the Nature Play Area.
- The Farm Stand was installed and open for business during the summer months.
- We broke ground on the Education Center and bathrooms.
- We adapted our volunteer engagement to be COVID-safe by creating an “Adopt-A-Project” system and hosting socially-distanced Work Days.
- We completed the Education Center and bathrooms
- We piloted a pasture-raised poultry project with 7 farmers
- We hosted 4 Junior Incubator farmers
- We hosted 20 family farmers and 9 commercial farmers
- We hosted over 400 volunteers and 350 youth education program participants
- We welcomed an interactive art mural near the orchard!
In 2022, we hope to…
- Complete the build of a year-round greenhouse
- Complete the build of a traditional adobe wall and horno over around the Education Center
- Cherish the soil, water, wildlife, volunteers, youth, and public that make the Farm Park everything it is!
- Invite the community into the Education Center space
- Continue hosting commercial farmers, family farmers, and volunteer and youth programs