What once was Polston Elementary School is now the Rio Grande Farm Park.
When it was a school, the vegetable garden taught students about growing, harvesting, preparing, and eating vegetables. Members of the Guatamalan Mayan community used the land to grow food for their families. Now, thanks to a collective effort to preserve this land, we can all learn and grow at the Park.
It all started when…
a community group from all walks of life came together with a vision of having a place to gather in a beautiful and healthy setting, preserve alluvial soil, grow food, learn about farming and the environment, and share resources. This group of people came with limited financial resources, and was able to purchase the property with the help of dedicated community members, the Trust for Public Land, and the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition. The space was initially called the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park. Few communities in our country have such an accessible, rich farm space so close to downtown.
As it is now …
you can stroll across the Rio Grande from downtown across a pedestrian bridge, follow trails and view the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, watch waterfowl, and breathe fresh, clear air. The Nature Play Area is open year-round for kids to play and explore. During the summer you can watch the progress of crops grown by the Guatemalan community using traditional Mayan farming techniques, explore the apple orchard, or sit in repose at the meditation pod on the Rio. The property comes to life during the summertime. Through the week, our Farm Stand sells fresh vegetables grown by our commercial farmers. Once a month groups of volunteers gather to improve and enjoy the land, please join us!
Each year there are new programs and activities. This year …
- We will install two Little Free Libraries on the land for community use.
- Field Trips will be offered to school groups from the SLV and beyond.
- The Main Street Project of Minneapolis will give workshops on regenerative chicken farming to all who are interested.
- We will install a decorative fence on our East side to protect crops from deer.
- Community members can sign up to take on responsibility for a project of their choosing.
- We will initiate a composting operation so we can add nutrients to our commercial farmer’s plots.
- Ortega Middle School students will build garden beds in woodshop class that will make up our Children’s Garden.
- We will lay the building foundation for our future hydroponic greenhouse.
- We will build a bathroom for farmers and park visitors to use.
In the future…
- We will finish the build of an aquaponic greenhouse so we can sell fresh, leafy greens to local markets.
- We will build an Environmental Education Pavillion where students can study year-round.
- Our composting operation will expand into curbside pickup for Alamosa residents.
Want to take part in the amazing things unfolding at the Farm Park? Donate by becoming a Friend of the Farm Park, or contact us to volunteer!