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.
The Durango Farmer's Market is held every Saturday morning from the second week in May to the last Saturday in October from 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. 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 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.
In support of the City of Durango’s commitment to environmental sustainability and resilience, the mission of the Sustainability Office is to provide analysis, coordination, and management of projects, programs, services, plans, and outreach efforts that help preserve our natural environment, conserve resources, maintain Durango’s unique character, and improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Using the Sustainability Plan as a guiding document, the office provides technical support across city departments, tracks and reports on actions and indicators, and serves as the point of contact for the community on sustainability initiatives. “Environmental sustainability and resilience” is identified as one of the seven strategic goals outlined the City’s Strategic Plan, which shows that integrating sustainability across departments is a priority for City leadership. More information at https://www.durangogov.org/sustainability.
City of Durango
On Tuesday, March 7 at the regular City Council meeting, staff are slated to give an operational update on the latest progress in the public-private partnership with Table to Farm Compost working to expand compost service throughout Durango.
Upcoming April 4 election - Mayor Barbara Noseworthy and Councilor Kim Baxter are not running for re-election. To learn more about the role City Council plays in our local government please visit the Council 101 page on the city’s website. For a full timeline leading up to the April 4 election, please click here. To read about who is running, see here.
SAVE THE DATE – City of Durango Community Sustainability Forum – Wednesday, March 15, 6-7:30pm. Durango Rec Center Eolus Room. This forum is the annual opportunity for community members to hear updates and provide feedback on sustainability indicators, actions, and priorities related to Durango’s Sustainability Plan.
The City of Durango has created a webpage to inform businesses and customers about the details of Colorado’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act which went into effect Jan. 1. Revenue gained through the fee will be used to fund these programs and other waste reduction efforts in Durango.
A multitude of public-private housing partnerships were discussed at the regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 7 including a pending grant application by the city for $1.5 million from the state Department of Local Affairs to aide with some creative housing solutions for the proposed Three Springs Village Two development. Read more here and a recording of the meeting is available on Youtube.
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.
Great Decisions: Climate Migration - February 28, 2023, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM. As climate change accelerates and drought and rising sea levels become more common, millions of people in affected regions must uproot themselves and seek safety elsewhere. Who are these affected individuals, and how might the United States aid them, and be affected by the migration? Presented by the League of Women Voters of La Plata County, Great Decisions is an annual nonpartisan briefing book that covers eight foreign policy topics. There are discussion programs around the country based on the material in the book. More Details
Kevin Hall has joined La Plata County as the Community Development Department's Interim Director. Kevin had a career with the City of Durango and has come out of retirement on a temporary basis.
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 as the County aims to have the new code in place this spring. Please provide comments via the comment portal (here). A webpage has been created to provide the public with updates on the Chapter 90 rewrite (click here). Click here for information on upcoming meetings.
Individuals and organizations may always make public comment at any time via the following methods:
You can also show up for public comment on February 23 at the Planning Commission meeting on February 23rd at 6 pm at the La Plata County Building: 1101 East 2nd Avenue. The agenda is here. Each person will have an opportunity to provide a 3-minute public comment on the draft Chapter 90 regulations.
Public Health Survey - Every five years, San Juan Basin Public Health takes a close look at the health and wellness needs of Archuleta and La Plata County residents through a community health assessment. The information gathered through this assessment will inform a public health improvement plan that aims to address the priorities. This survey is very important because starting in 2024, La Plata County will have a new Public Health Department since Archuleta and La Plata Counties have jointly decided to dissolve San Juan Basin Public Health by the end of 2023. Environmental, physical and emotional health matters to everyone and so lend your voice by filling out this survey which is available in both Spanish and English: complete this survey.
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
The Durango Chamber of Commerce next Eggs and Issues on Feb 23 @ 8am @ Double Tree is a forum on workforce housing "The community is invited to attend the forum on Feb. 23 to learn more about one of the biggest issues facing the area: workforce housing. More details can be found at the chamber of commerce website
COVID-19 Vaccines and Testing
Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster shots are in La Plata and Archuleta counties! Upcoming CDPHE mobile vaccine clinics: mobilevax.us/southwest and additional clinic locations and providers are available at sjbpublichealth.org/covid-19-vaccine/. For questions about vaccine types, safety and eligibility: 1-877-268-2926.
La Plata Electric Association
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, March 15 at 9:00 a.m. Input from Coop members is always welcome. Comments or questions to the board can be made shortly after 9 a.m.
Visit Durango, in partnership with Durango Trails and San Juan Mountain Association, is just getting the first quarter "Care for Durango" messaging to visitors on how to act responsibly in the area.
They have been working with the City of Durango to pull water usage among Durango Lodging and Restaurants to have a baseline for a future water reduction program.
They have applied for and received a grant from the Colorado Tourism office to pursue a Dark Sky Certification.
The County resident survey is now closed, and the results are being analyzed.
They have a survey for La Plata County Businesses. This survey is entirely voluntary and asks if they would like to disclose any historically marginalized owners or managers of that businesses for visitors to the area who would like to support those businesses.
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.