San Luis Valley Conservation & Connection Initiative Workshop on March 17

The San Luis Valley community is invited to attend a public workshop to learn about the new San Luis Valley Conservation and Connection Initiative: A Community Re-Granting Program. The free workshop is open to people from all interested organizations, districts, and local government entities who wish to learn about this new opportunity to apply for funding for projects related to conservation, restoration and recreation in the community.

Please join us on Thursday, march 17th from 10 am to 2 pm. Registration begins at 9:30 am and attendees are encouraged to arrive early. A local foods lunch will be served. The workshop will be held at the County Commissioners Meeting Room at the Alamosa County Building at 8900-A Independence Way, on the south side of Alamosa.

The San Luis Valley Conservation and Connection Initiative is a partnership of Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC), Colorado Open Lands (COL) and Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT), with support from the LOR Foundation over the next four years. Starting in 2016, the Initiative will provide grants for capacity building and project development and implementation to qualifying entities and projects to achieve public benefits for conservation, recreation and natural resources in the San Luis Valley.

The Initiative's re-granting program aims to increase the capacity of and collaboration between community organizations. The program is focused on supporting community-based efforts for land and water conservation and restoration along with associated programs that enhance natural resources, wildlife habitat, recreation, agricultural and water sustainability through capacity, infrastructure, and programs for community benefit. Nonprofit organizations, municipalities, counties, other governmental entities (such as qualifying conservation, irrigation districts), schools and universities are eligible to apply for re-grants from the Initiative.

Applications for grants of between $15,000 and $75,000 will be due on April 22 and awards will be made in June 2016. Requests will be considered for projects that address the following priorities and areas of interest:

  • Conservation of key agricultural lands, associated water rights and wildlife habitat in riparian areas, especially the Rio Grande, Conejos and Culebra River corridors.
  • The importance of acequia systems and their sustainability.
  • Conservation and restoration of watershed ecological function and sensitive sites, such as wetlands, infiltration/groundwater recharging zones, forested lands, upland rangelands, and headwaters that are also a priority for watershed health.
  • Enhanced outdoor recreation opportunities for communities, including, where appropriate, public access and connectivity to accessible public lands.
  • Capacity building grants to enhance or amplify the above objectives through supporting adequate existing and/or new staffing for organizations, and enhancing collaboration, communications, media and work with local, state and federal government agencies to promote land use and management plans that meet those objectives.

Full information about the San Luis Valley Conservation and Connection re-granting program, including detailed guidelines and the link to the online application form, will be available at the workshop. After March 17th, the full information will be posted on the WRC, COL and RiGHT websites.

Attendees for the March 17th workshop are encouraged to register in advance and, if possible, to bring a laptop computer or tablet with wifi capability to the session. To preregister for the workshop, please contact RiGHT at 719-657-0800 or info@riograndelandtrust.org.

A map to the workshop location can be found by clicking here.