Please see below for Durango-area sustainability updates, events, and ways to take action.
Feel free to pass this newsletter along to others who might be interested and please encourage folks to sign up here to receive these monthly updates on sustainability activities in our area.

Please join us for the monthly Durango Green Drinks on Thursday, April 27 from 5-7PM at 11th Street Station. Announcements usually start around 5:30. Hosts this month are Dark Sky Durango, La Plata Food Equity Coalition, and at 6:30 we'll learn more about the Spring 2023 LPEA Election with San Juan Citizens Alliance
San Juan Citizens Alliance
San Juan Citizens Alliance advocates for clean air, pure water, and healthy lands and wildlife – the foundations of resilient communities, ecosystems, and economies in the San Juan Basin. They watchdog, advocate, and respond to both local and national decisions that threaten the integrity and wellbeing of this spectacular corner of the world. Some of their largest campaigns include efforts toward restoring the quality of the Animas River, transitioning to local clean energy, protecting the health and wildness of our public lands, and restoring wolves in Colorado.

Dark Sky Durango
We have so much to celebrate this month with the newly formed Friends of Dark Sky Durango, the City of Durango applying to become a certified International Dark Sky Place, and International Dark Sky Week April 15-22. We are working to protect the experience of standing beneath a starry night sky that inspires feelings of wonder and awe, and encourages a growing interest in science and nature, especially among young people and out-of-area visitors within Durango. Established in 2001, the International Dark Sky Places (IDSP) Program has gained much recognition for its mission to preserve dark sites and promote responsible lighting policies. The award-winning program strives to protect these areas worldwide from light pollution through public education initiatives.

La Food Equity Coalition
(Continuar por espanol)
Did you know that 11% of residents in La Plata County experience food insecurity? That means that over one in ten of your neighbors does not have access to the food that they need to support their health and well-being. The problem is even more concentrated within our BIPOC, Senior, and rural residents. Sustainability is about the health of our people, planet, and the economy and if people are hungry and our farmers live below the poverty line, we’ve obviously got some work to do. The La Plata Food Equity Coalition formed back in February 2020 to explore how we, as a county community, can ensure that everyone has equal opportunity for health, or health equity, vis a vis access to healthy food. As part of an equity approach, our efforts are focused on addressing the needs and building the power of those residents and communities most chronically and deeply impacted by food insecurity and health inequities through deep partnership with and empowerment of these individuals and communities. When asked ‘what would it take for you to have access to the food you want and deserve?’, our residents responded with childcare, language justice, healthy food access, and opportunities to grow their own businesses and food….and so, that is what we are working on :) Learn more at: 

¿Sabías que el 11% de los habitantes del condado de La Plata sufren inseguridad alimentaria? Eso significa que más de uno de cada diez de tus vecinos no tiene acceso a los alimentos que necesita para mantener su salud y bienestar. El problema está aún más concentrado entre nuestros residentes BIPOC, mayores y rurales. La sostenibilidad tiene que ver con la salud de nuestra gente, del planeta y de la economía, y si la gente pasa hambre y nuestros agricultores viven por debajo del umbral de la pobreza, obviamente tenemos trabajo que hacer. La Coalición por la Equidad Alimentaria de La Plata se formó en febrero de 2020 para explorar cómo podemos garantizar, como comunidad del condado, que todo el mundo tenga las mismas oportunidades de salud, o equidad sanitaria, frente al acceso a alimentos sanos. Como parte de un enfoque de equidad, nuestros esfuerzos se centran en abordar las necesidades y desarrollar el poder de los residentes y las comunidades más afectados crónica y profundamente por la inseguridad alimentaria y las desigualdades en materia de salud, mediante una profunda colaboración con estas personas y comunidades y su empoderamiento. A la pregunta "¿qué haría falta para que tuvieras acceso a los alimentos que quieres y mereces?", nuestros residentes respondieron con cuidado de niños, justicia lingüística, acceso a alimentos sanos y oportunidades para cultivar sus propios negocios y alimentos.... y, por tanto, en eso estamos trabajando :) Más información en: 

City of Durango

City Council Election

Get Involved/Take Action
  • Sign up for City of Durango News Flashes and Alerts at
  • City Council seeks volunteers interested in serving on the following boards and commissions:  Board of Ethics, Business Improvement District, Design Review Board, Durango-La Plata Airport Commission, Election Commission, Finance Advisory Board, Firefighters Old Pension Board, Historic Preservation Board, Land Use Board of Adjustment, Library Advisory Board, Local Licensing Authority, Planning Commission, Retirement Plan Board. Applications for vacancies will be accepted through April 30.
  • The City of Durango in Colorado is offering rebates for e-bike purchases as part of its efforts to promote sustainable transportation options and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program is open to current residents of Durango, members of Durango's workforce, and students attending school in the area. Businesses and non-profit organizations can also apply to provide rebates to income-qualified applicants. The rebate vouchers can be used to purchase e-bikes from any location, but rebate amounts are worth more at participating local bike shops. Read more here.
    • To participate, applicants must fill out an application form and receive a voucher before purchasing their e-bike. Applicants should not purchase their bike before receiving their voucher to ensure they receive a rebate. The application window is April 17, 2023 and closes at 5:00 p.m. on May 12, 2023. Rebate recipients will be asked to participate in the City of Durango's new trip-logging app, the Way to Go! Club, to measure the effectiveness of the rebate program.
City Updates
  • City council adopted an energy contract that could potentially save the city $5.8 million dollars in utility fees over the next 20 years.The adopted Energy Performance Contract guarantees an annual utility savings of approximately $193,000 and progresses the city toward its renewable energy goal by 72%.
  • City councilors have hired Mark Morgan, who spent 14 years as the city attorney for Gretna, LA, as the new city attorney for Durango. His first day is May 1.
  • City commits to the development of doppler weather radar system at airport.
  • During the regular meeting on Tuesday, April 18,  councilors:
    • Proclaimed the week of April 17 Arbor Week. Council encourages residents to celebrate Arbor Week by planting trees and experiencing the importance of trees by spending time outside enjoying the community forest. The city’s Arborist Matt Besecker and his team look after 11,445 in the city, and in the past year planted 142 trees. The City of Durango has had the honor of having a Tree City USA designation for 43 years. 
    • Approved a community engagement transition plan t to recruit members for the new Financial Advisory Board while phasing out by July the Multimodal Advisory Board, the Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Infrastructure Advisory Board, and the Strategic and Long-Term Finance Advisory Board. 
    • Held the first reading of an ordinance to increase service fees for fire protection, rescue, and emergency services provided by the Durango Fire Protection District. The fire district has an increase in demand for services roughly proportionate to the growth in additional housing units and non-residential floor area. 
  • Durango Transit is excited to announce a series of route improvements designed to better serve the transportation needs of the community and maximize available funding. These changes will take effect on May 1, 2023. The new route improvements will expand service to a critically unserved neighborhood and provide more efficient service on an existing route, at no additional operational cost. The changes include:
    • The expansion of the Hwy 160 W route to include the Crestview neighborhood; 
    • The implementation of route efficiencies on the Mercy/Three Springs route; and
    • Redirect the Walmart route around the Durango Mall to address private property owner’s liability concerns.  
Upcoming City Council Meetings
  • Durango City Council meets every other Tuesday from 5:30-8:30PM. Upcoming City Council meetings will be on Tuesday, May 2 and 16 at 5:30 p.m. Study Sessions are the same days starting at 2:15 p.m. Find the agenda and meeting link at Durango City Council regular meetings and study sessions can now be viewed live on the city's YouTube channel.
  • Public Comment can 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: Comments must be submitted no later than noon on the Monday preceding the meeting.

Other City Meetings

La Plata County

Updates and Get Involved

  • Update to Chapter 90, Oil and Gas Regulations  - La Plata County staff has been working on a rewrite of the Oil and Gas Regulations (Chapter 90) in the Land Use Code. The public is encouraged to continue engaging in this process; the Board of County Commissioners held its first public hearing on the latest draft revision on April 18. The Board heard public comment from 18 people (in addition to more than 170 previously submitted online) and will hold its next meeting to decide on adoption of the Chapter 90 revision at noon on Wednesday, April 26. If necessary, a final meeting could be held Tuesday, May 2. The latest draft and all public comment to date can be found here
  • Subscribe to the newsletter and read current news here
  • Join a board or commission! See more here.
  • The La Plata County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will conduct a weeklong multi-jurisdictional evacuation drill to prepare residents as well as responding agencies in the event of wildfire or other emergencies. The exercise will be held Monday, April 24 through Thursday, April 27th. 
    • The objectives for this exercise include practicing inter-agency communications and coordination, increasing public awareness and education, evaluating the readiness of the La Plata County OEM Incident Management Team and Emergency Operations Center (EOC), testing our Alert and Warning systems, and developing a common operating procedure.
    • Several subdivisions will be involved and staff at the EOC will test the CodeRED alert system for registered residents. Residents are strongly encouraged to register for CodeRED through the county’s website at under the “Emergency Management” tab.  
    • County officials, the sheriff’s office and local fire chiefs will participate in various fire simulations, obtaining the values at risk, developing safe evacuation routes and conducting hypothetical home damage assessments. 
    • The American Red Cross will practice setting up a shelter and conduct sheltering training on Tuesday and Wednesday during the exercise. Community members are invited and encouraged to participate in this free training. 
    • La Plata County Search & Rescue personnel also will monitor the EOC’s Community Call Line at (970) 385-8700. 

La Plata County Commission Meetings

COVID-19 Vaccines and Testing
  • Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shots are in La Plata and Archuleta counties! Upcoming CDPHE mobile vaccine clinics: and additional clinic locations and providers are available at For questions about vaccine types, safety and eligibility: 1-877-268-2926.

La Plata Electric Association

Upcoming Election

  • Read the ballot insert for the upcoming LPEA election
  • Due to unopposed candidates in three of four voting districts, the LPEA Board of Directors voted to cancel the 2023 LPEA director election in Districts 1, 2, and 3. The District 4 election will still be conducted, and all LPEA member ballots will include a proposed bylaw amendment. As no challenger applications were received, new candidate Nicole Pitcher (District 1 – Archuleta County) will fill the seat vacated by retiring director Bob Lynch, and incumbents John Lee Jr. (District 2 – South & West La Plata County) and Rachel Landis (District 3 – City of Durango) will be re-elected as director of their districts as of June 8, 2023. Two new candidates, John Purser and David Luschen, will vie for the open seat vacated by retiring director Sue McWilliams in District 4 (North & East La Plata County). 

2023 Election Timeline

  • May 3, 2023: Ballots mailed - Members in all districts will receive a ballot in the mail in early May. Members in District 4 will need to vote on their director candidate and on a proposed bylaw amendment. Members in all other districts will vote just on the amendment. The proposed amendment would update the bylaws to align with state law, better reflect current member preferences around communication, and allow the LPEA Board of Directors to add electronic ballots as another voting option in future LPEA elections in conformity with state law.     
  • June 7, 2023: Ballots due  at 4 p.m. (or delivered in person to the LPEA Annual Meeting) to be counted.
  • June 8, 2023: LPEA Annual Meeting – Election results will be announced at LPEA’s 2023 Annual Meeting at LPEA headquarters in Bodo Park – or via Zoom – on Thursday, June 8, at 5 p.m. Visit our Annual Meeting page for more details! 
  • June 14, 2023: First board meeting for new directors  
  • June 19, 2023: Final Director Candidate Financial Disclosure Forms due  


  • Find out about current LPEA happenings and news here and read the Watt's Up monthly Newsletters here

Durango School District 9-R

  • Durango 9R Board of Education meetings are generally held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month starting at 5:30. 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. 
  • You can read more about what's "in the news" for 9-R here and board meeting recaps here.  

Sustainable Tourism

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