July 2019 | Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area
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July 2019

Press Release: Buckingham Neighborhood Outreach Project Will Help to Preserve the History and Heritage of Historical Fort Collins Neighborhood

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NEWS RELEASE

July 25, 2019

For immediate release; for more information, contact:

 

Megan Maiolo-Heath, Communications Coordinator

Poudre Heritage Alliance

Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area

970.295.4851

communications@poudreheritage.org  

 

 

Buckingham Neighborhood Outreach Project Will Help to Preserve the History and Heritage of Historical Fort Collins Neighborhood

 

 FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Working with volunteers from Colorado State University’s El Centro, and with support from New Belgium Brewing Company, the Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) is launching a coordinated effort to gather stories from residents living in the Buckingham neighborhood, located just northeast of Old Town, Fort Collins, an area with a rich history important to the City of Fort Collin’s story.

The Buckingham, Alta Vista and Andersonville neighborhoods were a product of the sugar beet industry, an economic empire that emerged in Colorado at the turn of the twentieth century. These neighborhoods supplied laborers to the sprawling sugar beet factory and the surrounding sugar beet fields. Germans from Russia (Volga Germans) and Latinx families lived in the Buckingham neighborhood and worked in the sugar beet fields and factory. Both groups faced forms of discrimination for many decades, even being denied service in some Fort Collins stores.

“All our voices matter, and we would appreciate capturing these stories,” said Dr. Guadalupe Salazar, Director of El Centro at Colorado State University and who grew up in the Buckingham Neighborhood. “We want to be inclusive and appreciate the diversity in this neighborhood. We have to accept this history so we can heal and move forward.”

To prepare Latinx and Volga German volunteers to canvas the Buckingham neighborhood on August 14, Erika Reyes Martinez (Director of Communications & Community Engagement at the Denver Public Library) will lead a training session hosted by PHA at New Belgium Brewing Company on August 8, 2019 from 9am-1pm.

The project will culminate in a neighborhood open house on September 19, from 4-7pm at the Fort Collins Streets Facility (625 9th St., Fort Collins, CO), where more stories will be collected and recorded while bringing together community members of diverse backgrounds.

The goals of the project are to 1) Collect stories from families that have lived in this neighborhood for multiple generations; 2) Create audio and video documentation of the neighborhood’s history; 3) Create a gateway feature and historic marker along the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area’s Heritage Trail; 4) Preserve an important history from a community that has often been left out of the Fort Collins story.

 

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ABOUT THE CACHE LA POUDRE RIVER NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA & THE POUDRE HERITAGE ALLIANCE

The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA) is one of 55 National Heritage Areas (NHA) in the United States. NHAs are places where natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography. CALA stretches 45 miles along the curves and bends of the hard-working Poudre River from the eastern border of the rugged Roosevelt National Forest, down through the blossoming cities of Fort Collins, Windsor, and Greeley, until the vital water resource joins with the South Platte River in the Colorado eastern plains.

As the managing organization behind CALA, the Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) serves the local communities of Larimer and Weld County by building a deeper understanding of the Poudre River’s national significance as it relates to water law and water management. PHA and CALA bring together residents, private organizations, and government entities behind this common goal, while also enticing tourists with the recreational, environmental, and historical points of interest throughout the Heritage Area. PHA programs and initiatives that support these efforts include volunteer trainings, grant-funded projects, and outreach events that help educate people about water history and the importance of the Poudre River corridor today.

For more information about PHA or CALA, please contact Megan Maiolo-Heath, Communications Coordinator at communications@poudreheritage.org or 970-295-4851.

 

ABOUT EL CENTRO

The mission of El Centro is to provide support for the Latinx community at Colorado State University (CSU) and Fort Collins. We do this by encouraging student engagement, academic success, cultural pride, empowerment, and volunteer/leadership opportunities. We strive to promote an inclusive environment that focuses on awareness and understanding of the Latinx experience.

For more information please contact Dr. Guadalupe Salazar, Director, at 970.491.5722 or visit http://www.elcentro.colostate.edu/

Guest Blog: Nothing comes from nothing

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My name’s Andy Auer, and I’m the new volunteer coordinator for the Poudre Heritage Alliance. I’m 24, and my pronouns are they/them/theirs. I’m going to be helping Jordan out at the office and at various PHA tabling events – I hope to get to know all of our amazing volunteers, hopefully sooner than later!

I grew up in southern California, and moved to Colorado in 2013, when I started school at Colorado State University. I graduated in May 2017, with a BS in geology and a minor in history. During my time at CSU, I was highly involved in various student organizations, including Geology Club, Gender Identity Group, and Prism (a group for LGBT+ students), as well as serving as an ASCSU senator for the Pride Resource Center in my senior year. I value these experiences for how they’ve strengthened my communication skills, as well as enabling me to take on further responsibilities and opportunities.

After graduating, I’ve continued my involvement in the Fort Collins community, and am currently the president of the Fort Collins Running Club and on the board of NoCo Equality, as well as working in Fort Collins and Livermore, CO.

 I completed Heritage Culturalist Volunteer training with PHA in 2018, and I’m excited to be contributing more to the organization in the role of Volunteer Coordinator.

The study and interpretation of history is really important to me. One of my history professors at CSU was fond of saying “nothing comes from nothing” – meaning that who and where we are today is built atop everything that’s come before. In geology, we took that rather more literally, but still found it to be true. The Poudre Heritage Alliance is an interesting place to work, because we are always trying to focus on how the history of the area has led to our present, and how best we can continue interpreting that history into the future.

The Cache la Poudre National Heritage Area is at the intersection of many different communities, and has been since before recorded history. I’m looking forward to working with the Poudre Heritage Alliance volunteers to expand the general public’s knowledge of the Cache la Poudre National Heritage Area. I’m also excited about learning more about its history and engaging with the National Heritage Area’s stakeholders as they discuss, debate, and make plans for its current and future management.

Guest Blog: Life is a journey that leads us to parts unknown

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by Vanessa Villegas Selwyn, PhD

I grew up in a southwest border town less than an hour drive from Juarez, Mexico.  Las Cruces, New Mexico, is an area is rich with Latinx (Mexican) and Native American history and culture. As a child, I was exposed to my mothers Mexican and Native American heritage alongside my father’s Jewish and German heritage.  Being multicultural with several intersecting identities has led me to champion diversity.  Recently, I have served as president to Todos Juntos (Latinx Graduate Group), a founding member of Graduate Students of Color, a Diversity Coordinator for the Colorado State University Graduate School, the advisor to QWEEN (Queer Women Engaged in an Encouraging Nexus) and taken part in a plethora of multicultural events. Throughout my journey, I have striven to promote and support diversity while initiating inclusive policies.

Fort Collins became my home in 2011. I came to Fort Collins to pursue a PhD at Colorado State University. My interest in science and learning lead me to gain a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Multicultural Education and Secondary Science Education. My drive to better understand our world lead me to successfully pursue a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology with an emphasis in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Neurosciences. My love of science is not limited to the microscopic, it encompasses the full range of nature and humanity.

My time in the community has led me to appreciate the impact of the Cache la Poudre River on the culture of Fort Collins.  I’m eager to learn more about the Cache la Poudre River and surrounding areas in my position at the Poudre Heritage Alliance. Additionally, I’m excited to join the Poudre Heritage Alliance’s project to enriching our knowledge of the Cache la Poudre River with the histories of the diverse local community.  I am grateful to join the Poudre Heritage Alliance to have the opportunity to bring my passion for diversity, keen inquiring mind, and love of Fort Collins together.

 

We are really excited to welcome Vanessa to the Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) staff! She will be with us through 2019, helping PHA with administrative tasks, marketing and communications, as well as translations. You can reach Vanessa by email at intern@poudreheritage.org.