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, formerly the Healthy Living Park.
As it is now … folks can stroll across the Rio Grande from downtown across a pedestrian bridge. From there, they can take a lot of trails to view the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, watch water fowl, and breathe fresh, clear air. During the summer, you can watch the progress of crops grown with regenerative farming techniques and explore the apple orchard. Frequently, groups of volunteers gather to improve and enjoy the land.
Development phase is going strong… this year, the Farm Park will be installing a drip irrigation system, installing fencing around the park perimeter, and building the Nature Play Area.
Each year there are new programs and activities.
In 2016 …
- 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.
In 2017 …
- 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.
In 2018 …
- 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.
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