February 2020 | Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area
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February 2020

Volunteer of the Month: Deborah Shulman

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Q: Tell us about your path to water activism

A: I began participating in water activism in 2015 by joining the League of Women Voters water and environmental group and the Larimer County Parks Advisory Board where I still serve, but my journey started with the High Park Fire.

I watched on national media outlets as the fire fighters battled the fire and the helicopter made a wall of water between my house and the fire.

Our house and property are located on a steep hillside and we have a limited water supply from our well. We have run out. I have learned to manage water, how to conserve and be efficient and even grow vegetables and fruit.

Water is a precious limited resource that we all need and have to negotiate.  I have participated in deliberation and water facilitation workshops and learned how to have conversation surrounding tough water issues toward resolution.

It was at the Poudre River Forum where the Poudre Heritage Alliance is a sponsor that I first heard how the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area recognizes water and beneficial use from different vantage points – agricultural, industrial, municipal, environmental and recreation.

There is conversation.  There is collaboration.  That is what motivated me to become a Poudre Heritage Culturalist and to teach others about water and history.

Q: Why did you become a volunteer with the Poudre Heritage Alliance?

A: I believe in the power of stories and history to teach fundamental lessons and guide us going forward. The events that led to Prior Appropriation and its subsequent adoption into Colorado water law along with national and global impacts, resonate in this day of polarized politics, gridlock and inability to work together for the common good.

The men from the Union Colony and Fort Collins that arrived at the Eaton School House on their horses, with their tents and guns were angry.  Union Colony had built ditches, it’s community and economy around the Poudre River.  Fort Collins had grown and also needed the water. Then the water dried up.

What happened in that school house is nothing short of remarkable.  It taught me the power of conversation and collaboration to solve our issues for the common good. We have to know what we want and what we are willing to give up to get to a point of resolution.

Conversation and collaboration are not easy and we have to keep coming back to the table even when the going gets hard and tempers flare.

This is what I bring to my participation the Poudre River Forum committee and our approach to water education.  Everyone loves the Poudre River. We all need and want water. Now let’s talk.

The Poudre River Forum is on February 28 and the topic is Quality Collaborations (water quality).  Please join us.

Q: When you aren’t supporting PHA as a volunteer, what do you like to do for “fun”?

A: It’s all about water. I spend winters cross country skiing – classic, skate, trail, backcountry, and telemark.

In the warmer months, I swim, bike, run, hike and grow food. I also have a touring kayak and enjoy paddling on Horsetooth Reservoir near my home.

I am on the committee for the Horsetooth Swim races.

Q: When did you decide to run for Larimer County Commissioner?

A:  It was a direct result of my participation in water issues and the Poudre Heritage Alliance.  I was in a small group deliberation workshop surrounding NISP and how to have constructive dialogue around contentious issues.  I wanted to know about how these cities were managing water and if there was a focus on conservation and efficiency.

I asked, “How can I influence water and land use policy?” or “How do we get a regional water treatment plant?”.  The answer was to become county commissioner.

 

To learn more about the 2020 Candidates for Larimer County Commissioner, check out this article from the Coloradoan.

To learn how you can volunteer with the Poudre Heritage Alliance, please contact Jordan Williams at admin@poudreheritage.org or visit our website: https://poudreheritage.org/heritage-culturalist-volunteers/

Poudre Heritage Alliance Hosting 3rd Annual Poudre Pour: An Educational Celebration of the Poudre River

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The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA), in partnership with the Town of Windsor and 16 local brewers and distillers, is hosting the 3rd Annual Poudre Pour – an educational celebration of the Cache la Poudre River – on Saturday, March 28 from 2:00-6:00PM at the Boardwalk Park in Windsor, Colorado. Tickets to the family-friendly event include beer tastings, coffees and non-alcoholic beverages; complimentary paired appetizers at each beer and beverage booth; history and heritage activities; a silent auction; live Blues music with the award-winning Grace Kuch Band; educational speakers and more. Event information and tickets at www.poudreheritage.org/poudre-pour

Water from the Poudre River has nourished our region for centuries. Today, the Poudre and other rivers in the West are under exceptional stress due to growing populations, drought, and other demands on our water supplies. The Poudre Heritage Alliance raises awareness about water issues and connects people to their water heritage through a variety of year-round programs and events such as the Poudre Pour.

“The Poudre Pour is a unique community event that brings together people from all walks of life and from all over Northern Colorado to celebrate the Cache la Poudre River,” said Kathleen Benedict, Poudre Heritage Alliance Executive Director. “The educational activities and speakers will help bring an understanding of water law and our water heritage to guests.”

“We care deeply about the Poudre River. I grew up playing in and on it, and only in adulthood came to realize how much we and downstream neighbors rely on its abundance and health.” Said Carol Cochran, owner of Horse & Dragon Brewing Company. “For our product, delicious craft beer, a healthy watershed is vital.  For all of us in our community, this beautiful river is at the root of what drew us here and is the thread that connects us all.”

Poudre Pour attendees will enjoy beverage tastings from breweries and distillers spanning the National Heritage Area, including Odell Brewing, Horse & Dragon, High Hops, Weldwerks, Gilded Goat, Intersect, Maxline, Snowbank, Rally King, New Belgium, Mighty River, Mash Lab, Red Truck Beer Co., Timnath Beerwerks, Wiley Roots, and CopperMuse Distillery. Attendees can also enjoy coffees from Human Bean. Water from the Poudre River nourishes the healthy farm produce that will be used by Z Catering to craft tasty appetizers made with local beers and spirits. This year kids 16 years old and under receive FREE admission to the event with a paying adult. The all-inclusive tickets for people 17 years and older range from $20-$40, and they can be purchased online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-poudre-pour-tickets-74729230139

poudre pour 2020 brewers and distillers

In the event’s third year, the Boardwalk Park in Windsor will serve as the backdrop for the family-friendly event, offering guests access to a beautiful outdoor space and a variety of historic buildings important to the heritage and history of the area, including the Whitehall schoolhouse, a train depot, a German farmhouse, and a beet shack. Attendees can dance to the music of 16 year-old Blues phenom Grace Kuch and her electric Blues band; engage in a “Heritage Trail” scavenger hunt; bid on silent auction items such as a week in Steamboat or a craft beer goodies basket; and participate in hands-on educational activities in each of the four 19th century cabins located at the Park.

The educational theme of the 3rd Annual Poudre Pour will be “The National Heritage Area: Discovering Your River.” The signature educational happenings of the day will include various speakers discussing the importance of water within the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area and how PHA informs the community, region, state, and nation through its projects and programs. The educational speakers will include Tim Cochran, Owner of Horse & Dragon Brewing; Matt Robineault, Executive Director of the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority; Yufna Soldierwolf, former Director of the Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office; Julie Chacon, Executive Director of the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area; and Jep Enck, Executive Director of the Poudre River Trust.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Poudre Heritage Alliance, the 501(c)3 managing nonprofit of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area. The Poudre Heritage Alliance works to PROMOTE a variety of historical and cultural opportunities, ENGAGE people in their river corridor and INSPIRE learning, preservation, and stewardship.