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. Frequently, groups of volunteers gather to improve and enjoy the land. At the end of summer, the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition hosts LOCAL Harvest Celebration at the Rio Grande Farm Park to show appreciation for our growers and the bounty of this beautiful valley.
The Rio Grande Farm Park is rapidly developing new programs, infrastructure, and activities each year.
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 built the Environmental Education Pavilion and the bathrooms.
- We adapted our volunteer engagement to be COVID-safe by creating an “Adopt-A-Project” system and hosting socially-distanced Work Days.