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Poudre Pour Postponed

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FORT COLLINS, CO – Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Poudre Pour, scheduled for March 28, 2020, has been postponed. The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) is actively working with the Town of Windsor to reschedule the annual fundraising event for the Fall of 2020.

While very disappointing, this decision has been made in the best interest of public health and is based on the understanding of how COVID-19 is currently progressing throughout Colorado and the United States.

PHA will be in touch as soon as possible to announce plans for rescheduling the Poudre Pour, which is critically important to our annual fundraising efforts.  You can check back at poudrheritage.org/poudre-pour for updates.

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

 

The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA), a 45-mile stretch of the Lower Poudre River, tells the story of the river where Western Water Law took shape and how the river still informs the use of water throughout the arid West today.  CALA’s 501(c)3 nonprofit managing entity – the Poudre Heritage Alliance – PROMOTES a variety of historical and cultural opportunities; ENGAGES people in their river corridor; and INSPIRES learning, preservation, and stewardship. Find out more at:  https://www.poudreheritage.org/

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.

Volunteer of the Month: Robert Ward

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Photo: Robert Ward leads a Peadling the Poudre bike tour, sharing his extensive water knowledge with guests.

In 2005, Robert Ward completed 14 years as Director of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, located on the Colorado State University campus (CSU).  In his research administration role, he served terms as President of the National Institutes for Water Resources and the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR). His 35-year career on the CSU Engineering faculty involved teaching courses in systems analysis methods, water quality monitoring and management, and engineering design. His work on water quality management and monitoring sent him around the world, to places like New Zealand and The Netherlands. In January 2006, he also was awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Colorado Water Congress, recognizing his work in connecting university-based water research to the solution of practical day-to-day water management problems.

Besides consulting and professional society activities, retirement for Robert includes hiking, biking, reading, gardening, raising funds for the CSU Water Resources Archives, and serving as a current Heritage Culturalist Volunteer (and former Board Member) for the Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA), a group that seeks to inform the general public about the development of western water law and technology, using the Poudre River as a classic example. 

Robert supports PHA programs and events by leading Pedaling the Poudre bike tours and providing well-researched interpretation for PHA’s Heritage Trails initiative. Robert’s expertise and involvement with the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage is invaluable and very much appreciated!

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/

Field Trip Scholarships Still Available for K-12 Classes to Visit CALA

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The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA) and the nonprofit managing entity—the Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA)—received a $9,000 Open Outdoors for Kids grant for the 2019-2020 school year from the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. The NPF grant supports PHA’s Learning in Our Watershed™ program, which provides scholarships to schools in Larimer and Weld county to visit various locations throughout the CALA.

This grant from NPF is part of their Open OutDoors for Kids program, which creates pathways for kids to explore and connect with national park experiences. It is made possible through generous support of partners including Union Pacific Railroad and donors across the country.

Through this partnership with NPF, PHA will be able to provide scholarships that defray transportation and admission costs for approximately 25 schools and 3,000 children during the 2019-2020 school year. The field trip grants are still available on a first come, first served basis through PHA’s website: https://www.poudreheritage.org/field-trip-grants/.

Scholarship priority is given to 4th grade classrooms and Title I schools. Popular destinations within the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area include the Poudre Learning Center, Children’s Water Festivals in Greeley and Fort Collins, Centennial Village in Greeley, and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. The Poudre Heritage Alliance also offers guided wellness walks as a way to explore the heritage area through this program.

A 4th grade teacher from Bauder Elementary had this to say about the Learning in Our Watershed program: “Your donation to fund this trip made it possible for our kids to only pay half the admission. As a Title I school, getting these kids real life experience is so important. Because of you we made that possible. Thank you.”

These initiatives are coordinated alongside the Department of the Interior’s Every Kid Outdoors program. The ​Every Kid Outdoors​ annual pass provides fourth grade students, along with their families, friends and classmates, free access to National Park sites​, along with more than 2,000 other federal recreation areas for a year. The Every Kid Outdoors Program encourages fourth graders to explore, learn, and recreate in spectacular settings, including national parks, wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries, and forests.

To obtain the free pass, fourth grade students visit the ​Every Kid Outdoors website​, participate in a short educational activity, and download a voucher. The voucher is valid for multiple use between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020 to correspond to the traditional school year. The voucher may be exchanged for a plastic keepsake pass at participating federal lands.

The Every Kid Outdoors Program was established by Congress in 2019. It replaces the Every Kid in a Park Program which was launched in 2015. It is an interagency collaboration between the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation,  Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.

2019 Year-In-Review

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Thank you for a wonderful year! The Poudre Heritage Alliance was able to reach thousands of people within the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, promoting heritage and culture, engaging citizens in the river corridor, and inspiring learning, preservation and stewardship. We look forward to continuing this work in 2020. We hope you will join us in these efforts! To make a year-end donation to the PHA please click here.

poudre heritage alliance 2019 year in review

 

OUR MISSION: The Poudre Heritage Alliance serves the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, providing current and future generations the opportunity to understand and celebrate the area by careful planning and facilitation of educational programs and related amenities in collaboration with residents, private sector and government entities.

Support the Poudre Heritage Alliance on CO Gives Day – Dec. 10, 2019!

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The Poudre Heritage Alliance invites you to support our efforts to build a deeper understanding of the Poudre River’s national significance, including its role in influencing water development, water law, and water management, by donating to us on Colorado Gives Day – December 10, 2019.

Our goal is to raise $1,000 in this 24-hour period to support our mission and vision while growing projects like PHA’s Learning in Our Watershed field trip grant program and the Play It Safe on the Poudre river safety initiative.

Plus, thanks to the $1 Million Incentive Fund from Community First Foundation and FirstBank, your donation goes even further!

DONATE

Volunteer of the Month: Judy Firestien

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Much of our work would not be possible without volunteer power! This month we are honoring Judy Firestien, one of our Heritage Culturalist Volunteers, who currently volunteers her time at PHA Board Meetings taking minutes while also promoting the CALA to the community through the Von Trotha Firestien Farm at Bracewell.  Thanks for all of your time and energy, Judy.

Question: Tell us about your career path and your work on the Farm.

Answer: I worked for several small biotech companies in Fort Collins as Office Manager for about 12 years before moving back to the family farm northwest of Greeley in 2005.  I had begun to gather genealogy and historic information on our farm and the settlement of Bracewell where the farm is located.  In 2008, I compiled much of this information into a nomination for the farm and in 2009, our farm, Von Trotha-Firestien Farm at Bracewell, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Since then, we have hosted educational groups and are continuing to work on “hands-on” activities to educate the public on the importance of agriculture and irrigated farmland in this area.  For several years we have had an “Open Farm” event with antique tractor displays, petting zoo, pony rides, irrigation demonstration, and educational displays to encourage people to come out and experience the farm.  We also regularly host gatherings such as graduation parties and birthday parties at the farm and have also hosted a couple of weddings.

Q: What do you like most about the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area?

A: I really enjoy the great history it holds with regard to agriculture and water law and the development of the Greeley-Fort Collins area.  It is also so special to me because a portion of our farm lies within the Heritage Area and I have many fond childhood memories of times along the river, mostly exploring with my dog, Duke.  We also had an ice skating pond on our property next to the river and spending time skating and having skating parties are some of my very favorite memories.

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

A: I wanted to further solidify the knowledge I have gained over the past years with regard to history of the area, water history and water law, and historic preservation.  I hope to further use this knowledge on our farm to educate the public on history, water, and how awesome the PHA is and to inspire and encourage them to learn more!  (You can learn more about Judy’s farm and its history within the CALA at www.BracewellFarm.com.)

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

A: Sometimes it seems like my favorite hobby is mowing or doing “weed patrol”, as I call it, around the farmyard!  Not really a hobby, but seems to take up a lot of my time during the summer to try to keep the place looking nice.  I enjoy spending time with friends, hanging out on the “sky deck” at the farm, reading, watching movies, researching genealogy and history, and walking.  We built a structure at the farm awhile back that started as a picnic shelter, but we added a deck on top.  It’s fairly high and might be considered more of an “observation deck”, but we have dubbed it the “Sky Deck”!   It’s a great place to hang out with friends or relax and enjoy the sunset!

Interested in volunteering with the Poudre Heritage Alliance? Please contact Jordan Williams at programs@poudreheritage.org to learn how you can support the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, or click here to sign up!

Celebrating Native American Heritage in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area

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During the month of November, we join the nation in celebrating Native American Heritage Month, recognizing the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States.

Crazy Bull and Chief Friday in Washington, D.C. in 1873. That year, a delegation of Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho from the Red Cloud Agency went to the capitol with their agent, Dr. John J. Saville, to discuss their hunting rights as well as their future home (Photo by Alexander Gardner, 1873)

Indigenous peoples have been living in and migrating through the unique eco-tone of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area for more than 13,000 years. As Brenda Martin, Curator for the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery writes, “Tribal groups as we know them today are not recognized as being present until 1,000 A.D., if not longer, beginning with the Numic (Uto-Aztecan) speakers, commonly known as the Ute. Oral tradition and the ethno-historic record show evidence of other tribal groups like the Apache, Comanche, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, Shoshone, and Pawnee in Colorado as early as the mid-17th century.”

In the early 1800s, after the Louisiana Purchase, Euroamericans begin exploring the Plains. In the 1850s, the federal policy of westward expansion brought many more people to the area of the country we now call Northern Colorado. This policy promoted agriculture, mining, and trade. Thus began a painful history for the Native American tribes that have called this area home for so many hundreds of years.

Martin writes, “In 1868, the last of the Native Americans, Friday and his band of Arapahos, were removed to Wyoming, with the Federal government mandating by 1878 the removal of all Native people to designated reservations. Except for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, all others were located outside of Colorado. Combined with other assimilation policies, conversion to Christianity, restriction to boarding schools, and the outlawing of most Native American ceremonies, there was a tremendous loss of cultural knowledge and traditions.”

 

In their own words, Northern Arapaho elders shared the importance of the Poudre River to their tribe’s history and culture on this video series produced by the Poudre Heritage Alliance:

This month, we look forward to sharing some of the many stories of Native American peoples and celebrating their unique cultures and traditions. We hope you will join us in learning more about the indigenous tribes of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area and sharing in the celebration of our Nation’s First Peoples.

 

Sources:

Burris, Lucy. (2003). People of the Poudre; An Ethnohistory of the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area
AD 1500-1880. Fort Collins, CO: Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Are, Friends of the
Poudre, and the Dept. of the Interior National Park Service.

Martin, Brenda. (May 2009). Native American Timeline for Larimer County, CO [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://poudreheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/native_american_timeline_for_larimer_county.pdf

 

Tom Trout

Volunteer of the Month: Tom Trout

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Much of our work would not be possible without volunteer power! This month we are honoring Tom Trout, one of our Heritage Culturalist Volunteers, who brings a passion for water and history to his volunteer experiences here at the Poudre Heritage Alliance. Thanks for all of your time and energy, Tom.

Tom grew up on a small farm in Ohio.  As an agricultural exchange student to Peru, he experienced irrigated agriculture in an arid climate, and, on his return, headed West to graduate school in Agricultural Engineering at CSU.  After 2 years improving irrigation systems in Pakistan, he joined the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) as an irrigation scientist.  He retired in 2015 after 32 years conducting research in irrigation water management in Idaho, California, and Colorado.  He continues volunteering at ARS and as an adjunct faculty member in Civil Engineering at CSU, and takes an occasional consulting trip overseas (going to Uruguay in November). As a Heritage Culturalist for the Poudre Heritage Alliance, Tom combines his favorite subjects:  Water and History.  Tom and his wife, Vickie, remain involved in activities at CSU through alumni functions, sports and hosting international students.

Interested in volunteering with the Poudre Heritage Alliance? Please contact Jordan Williams at programs@poudreheritage.org to learn how you can support the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, or click here to sign up!