Please see below for local sustainability updates, events, and ways to take action. Please pass this newsletter along to others and encourage folks to sign up here to receive these monthly updates on sustainability activities in our area.
DURANGO FARMERS MARKET The Durango Farmer's Market is held every Saturday Morning from the second week in May to the last Saturday in October, 8am to noon (and 9am to noon in October) in the parking lot of TBK Bank, located at 259 W. 9th street, across from the City Transit Center. The market is a venue for local agriculturalists, artisans, ready-to-eat, value-added, and service vendors to meet and share the fruits of their labor with the community in Durango. The market includes community groups who offer important information and ways to get involved in the local community. They also feature young agriculturalists in their Incubator Program, giving them a chance to get their start in local food production. The market requires that all agricultural and artisan vendors grow or produce their goods themselves, and from our local region which includes the five counties of La Plata, Montezuma, Archuleta, San Juan Colorado, and San Juan New Mexico. This ensures that all foods are fresh and local and all goods are locally produced. The Market's value-added and ready-to-eat vendors must use as many local ingredients as possible and be locally owned. The high value for local production ensures all dollars spent at the market support fellow community members and support our local economy.
MANNA Manna's remodel is done! At the end of March, they moved into a freshly renovated and improved space and began to re-open / expand services. With a redesigned community kitchen, additional supportive services offices, and a whole new choice-based food market, the are now able to support more of the community in a more accessible, inclusive, and dignified way.
Manna offers hot meals Monday through Saturday 9am-1pm. The Resource Center and Food Market are open 5 days a week: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings 9am-1pm and Wednesday evening 3-7pm. They have a self-serve fridge stocked with meals for when they are closed.
Likewise, the Gardening Programs continue to develop with expanding vegetable production at the Carver Farm as well as new nutritional and healthy food skills educational series. Also, volunteering is now opened all the way back up with many new opportunities with our expanded model.
Manna is currently running a Grow-a-Row Fundraiser to further support their expanding food production efforts and raise up more food than ever before to keep the Food Market and Community Kitchen stocked with fresh nutritionally dense produce. Come join us at Green Drinks and get all the details!
City of Durango
City Council is slated to formally adopt Durango’s Sustainability Plan during its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 7. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. You can read about the plan’s update process and review the final draft at the City of Durango Sustainability website.
Council schedules hearing on citizen petition to amend land use codes - Durango City Council set a public hearing for May 26, 2022 to discuss a citizen-initiated ordinance that affects the location of fire or police departments. The public petition, organized by the community group Citizens Voice, hopes to create an ordinance that will amend land use codes to make protective services like fire and police a conditional use in the city’s Central Business District. If the ordinance is adopted protective services looking to settle in the district will have to undergo public hearings on the appropriateness of the proposed land use.
City Manager receives temporary authority to manage fire risks - An emergency ordinance was enacted by City Council on Tuesday, May 17, giving City Manager JoséMadrigal the ability to take any and all actions to regulate fire risks within the city. The emergency ordinance will be effective for 60 days and gives Madrigal the ability to regulate the use of land within the city to minimize the catastrophic impacts a fire would have on the community.
City Council Meetings
Durango City Council meets every other Tuesday from 5:30-8:30PM. Upcoming City Council meetings are Tuesday, June 7th and 21st at 5:30 p.m. Study Sessions are the same days starting at 2:15 p.m. Find the agenda and meeting link at DurangoGov.org/meetings.
Public Commentcan be shared at a meeting with a scheduled Public Participation agenda item. If the meeting does not have Public Participation scheduled, comments can be submitted via email to: PublicComment@DurangoGov.org. Comments must be submitted no later than noon on the Monday preceding the meeting.
Here's how you can attend or watch city council meetings:
The Durango City Council meetings and study sessions will now be live streamed on YouTube. Simply go to Durango’s YouTube channel on the day and time of the meetings and they will appear at the top of the Home Page. You can also watch recordings of past meetings on YouTube.
Participate in Climate Change Community Workshops being hosted by the state throughout Colorado to hear from communities about their concerns, priorities, and ideas for state climate action. Durango June 9 from 5-8 pm - Registration is available HERE. Colorado’s GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap was developed in 2019 with input from a wide variety of stakeholders. Successful implementation of the roadmap and other opportunities including the federal infrastructure bill and state air quality package present unprecedented opportunities for Colorado communities to receive funding, technical support, and access to state policies and programs to accelerate an equitable transition to clean energy.
Dinner will be provided and participants will receive a $75 Visa gift card, as a thank you for their time and input. Childcare stipends are also available to those who need them in order to attend. All meetings will be accessible in English and Spanish.
If you are unable to attend an in-person workshop, you are welcome to register for one of the Zoom workshops, which will be held on June 16th and June 22nd from 5:30-7:30pm (note: space is also limited for these and participants of virtual workshops will receive $45 Visa gift cards as a thank you.) You can select one of these virtual workshops in the same registration form.
Community Development Services and the County's IT department interactive tool shows you where each proposed project is located in the county and provides a link to more information about the project including status and submittals. Check out the project locator map here
Early this summer the County will start a public process around oil/gas regulations update in relation to SB 19-181. Anyone interested should sign up for the Community Development Department newsletter.
La Plata County has participated in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) since 1980. This program creates regulations that meet or exceed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) minimum requirements and enables property owners in the county to purchase insurance protection against financial losses from flooding. Floodplains are regulated by FEMA. Over the last four years the Colorado Water Conservation Board has worked with the engineering firm AECOM to prepare more accurate and updated floodplain maps for La Plata County drainages, rivers and watersheds.
The 90-day appeal period for the County’s new flood maps began in early March and is set to be completed in early June. If there are no appeals, the Letter of Final Determination (LFD) will be issued in the fall of 2022. Following the LFD, there will be six months to adopt new flood hazard products. More information can be found at the Colorado Water Conservation Webpage here and preliminary flood mapping and data can be found here. Contact the Building Department at (970)382-6251 with questions.
La Plata County Commission Meetings
Here is the schedule for upcoming County Commission Meetings. All meetings are held at 10 a.m. in the County Administration Building, 1101 E. 2nd Ave. Meetings are accessible via Zoom using the links or phone numbers below. Join the meeting at https://zoom.us/j/819094582
COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be available in La Plata and Archuleta counties through health care providers, local pharmacies, and other partners. In addition, SJBPH will offer COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters at its offices in Durango and Pagosa Springs.
San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) provides free COVID-19 testing in partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado.
La Plata Electric Association
More than 120 members attended the LPEA annual meeting. For those who missed it, you can find the recap and meeting materials HERE.
Tri-State filed a historic settlement agreement with FERC last month. If approved, it would provide LPEA the flexibility to obtain part of our power supply from Tri-State and part from other sources. Read more here.
LPEA offers many rebates - check them out here and here for new outdoor equipment and E-Bikes rebates
Find out about current LPEA happenings and news here and read the Watt's Up monthly Newsletters here.
The next regular LPEA Board of Directors meeting is Wednesday, June 15 at 9:00 a.m. via zoom. Input from Coop members is always welcome. Comments or questions to the board can be made shortly after 9 a.m.
Durango 9R Board of Education meetings are generally held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month starting at 5:30 and are always open to the public. The 2nd Tuesday of the month is usually a work session while the 4th Tuesday is the official public meeting where actions are taken and there is always an opportunity for public input. If you wish to participate, you much fill out this form 24 hours in advance.
Know an organization that might be interested in hosting a Green Drinks in 2022? Please have them reach out to DurangoGreenDrinks@gmail.com!
Looking for some good news? Sign up for Durango's Darcy Hitchcock's blog here.
The Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado (SASCO) networks with local organizations, businesses, governments, and individuals to create a more just society which prioritizes environmental stewardship, social equity, and a thriving local economy.