November Mountain Memo E-Newsletter
Glacier Community Farm
As the snow begins to fly and we enter into the season of giving and gratitude, the Crested Butte Land Trust has a lot to be thankful for. One particular group we are grateful for are all of the hardworking volunteers and staff who made this growing season at Glacier Community Farm such a success. The farm, located on highway 135 just outside of CB South and funded through a GOCO Resilient Communities Grant, is a non-permanent agricultural lease between Mountain Roots Food Project and Crested Butte Land Trust aiming to address growing food insecurities in the Gunnison Valley.
This season, the tireless efforts from Farm Corps members and Farm Manager Kara Williard doubled the year’s growing space. With new beds and new infrastructure, Glacier Farm produced over 3,000 pounds of food. Through a National Resources Conservation Service grant, a covered high tunnel was built to help extend the growing season in the spring and fall as well as expand the variety of vegetables able to be grown. After a busy summer of growing garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, lettuce, spinach, arugula, peas, chard, cauliflower, kale, and broccoli, cover crops have now been planted, utilizing practices to help ensure the building of soil health over time.
All of the work done at the farm would not have been possible without the support from volunteers and partners helping to contribute to a sustainable local food system. Glacier Community Farm is a unique opportunity for the Land Trust to provide space for the community to connect to lands through working agriculture, and we are grateful to be able to partner with Mountain Roots Food Project. Thank you for getting your gloves dirty with us!
Stewardship and Restoration
The Crested Butte Land Trust promotes land conservation in various ways: through protecting wildlife habitat, maintaining our ranching heritage, preserving unobstructed views from town, and providing recreational opportunities for our community. But in order to forever preserve our open spaces for generations to come, we also must be stewards for these spaces. Stewarding land requires a deep understanding of how to best care for its ecosystems, which oftentimes goes hand in hand with understanding how we can restore lands back to their natural state and functions. From historic mining clean ups to wetland habitat restorations, the Crested Butte Land Trust is dedicated to the task of taking care.
One area where the Land Trust stewardship team is focused on restoration is at the Rice Parcel along the Slate River wetlands. In 2012, after a geomorphic assessment of the area and engaging with a variety of experts, the Land Trust commissioned an erosion control plan to promote hydrological and riparian health. Historic mining and grazing along this parcel had eroded riverbanks and damaged riparian flora beyond natural repair. The plan included bank sloping and channel opening, a blended gravel bar, and re-vegetation of over 100 hand planted willows. This restoration work improved conditions of the Slate River, but there is still work to be done.
Today, the Land Trust continues to monitor and control noxious weeds on this parcel, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board continues to assess the results of the restoration project. Most recently, the Land Trust hosted a volunteer stewardship day planting willows to further the erosion control efforts. When the water levels rise after runoff this spring, we plan to be back out there planting more!
Conservation is not a “one and done” pursuit. Nor is restoration. Our land, climate, and community are constantly changing and growing, and so must our approaches to conservation and restoration. With continued help from experts and the support from our community, the Crested Butte Land Trust is honored to continue caring for your lands.
Colorado Gives Day!
Colorado Gives Day is just around the corner on December 7!
This year we are so excited to share that donations will be matched by local supporter, Blake Hawk, up to $25,000!
Double your impact today by visiting www.coloradogives.org/cblandtrust.
You can donate and schedule donations now through December 7. All donations will go toward our opportunity fund, allowing the Land Trust to complete more projects like saving Kikel Lot 3 on Smith Hill and Long Lake.
Thank you for your support this giving season.