Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Iron Horse Logo

As Memorial Day quickly approaches most Durango residents begin to think of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. This year will be the 46th Annual race to beat the train into Silverton. Over 50 miles and many feet of elevation gain serious competitors as well as those on tandem bikes, tutus and families will battle to beat the train into the tiny mountain town.

This year things will be a little different with an added gravel/dirt road race the "La Strada La Plata" as well as the "Iron BMX" to kick off the weekend. The list of events are as follows:

Friday:

  • Final Packet Pickup Buckley Park (3pm-7pm)
  • Narrow Horse Swim - http://www.durangoswimclub.org
  • Steamworks Faceplant Party: Beer, live music, vendors and bike parade. At Buckley Park 3-8pm
  • Iron BMX

Saturday:

  • Durango Coca-Cola Road Race (7:30am)
  • McDonald's Citizens Tour to Silverton (8am)
  • Quarter Horse to Purgatory (8:15am)
  • MBS King/Queen of Mountain (Road & MTB Omnium)
  • Bike Pickup Durango High School (3pm-7pm)
  • Silverton Finish Line Festival: Live music, beer garden, food, vendors and racing. Memorial Park 9am-1pm. Come out and support Silverton’s non profits.

Sunday:

  • La Strada La Plata Gravel Ride (9 AM Start)
  • Morehart Murphy Subaru MTB Race (Start time TBD / Category times vary)
  • Sprite Kids Race & Alpine Kids Village (Registration 8am-9am)
  • Alpine Kids Village - 9am-2pm
  • Durango Cyclery Cruiser Crit (Start Time TBD)
  • Durango downtown bike festival: kids festival with fun activities, live music, vendors and racing. Copper mug specials around town..

Mexican Logger is Here!!!

Mexican Logger is Here!!!

The much anticipated Mexican Logger brewed by Ska Brewing is back!!! Perfect for backyard BBQ's, rafting, and all things Durango this beer officially kicks off the summer season for Durango residents and those who have ever had a Mexican Logger. This year my marketing assistant was lucky enough to be the first person in 2017 to buy 6-packs of the good stuff for a closing gift, so we like to think we are in for an amazing summer.

Mexican Logger Release Party

IMG_1453.JPG

Wells Group 17th Annual Real Estate Forecast

This month The Wells Group hosted the 17th annual real estate forecast event. This event allows the public to see previous years predictions of the real estate market and how it matched up to what actually happened in the market. If you were unable to make the event this month I have recapped some of the main points as well as linked to the Durango Heralds article about the event as well as the link to the full presentaiton located on The Wells Group website.

Looking at 2017 these are the major predictions for 2017 from the Wells Group Forecast Event.

  • Inventory Challenges. They predict this will be an issue in the under $500,000 market county wide.
  • Increase in median price in all homes of La Plata County.
  • Increased number of homes for sale in Forest Lakes.
  • Interest rates will not impact the market unless raised above 5% for residential mortgages.
  • Tourism will increase again
  • There will be a higher number of baby boomers from the Front Range who migrate to La Plata County. They will sell their homes with substantial equity due to appreciation and look for a lifestyle change.
  • There will be a higher number of luxury home sales.
  • More recreational ranch sales in Southwest Colorado.

Durango Herald Article

Wells Group Forecast Event

Favorite Durango Date Ideas

With Valentines fast approaching, as in one day away, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite date ideas in Durango. For those of you last minute planners or maybe those who want to avoid the crowds and find some time for yourself I have put together a little list.

Yoga Love? The Sweaty Buddha is offering a half price single drop in class for singles on Valentines Day!

Paddle Boarding Pack up the boards and head to Haviland or the Animas River for a perfect adventure date once the weather warms up. This one is great for the whole family and even pet friendly. 

Paddle Boarding

Pack up the boards and head to Haviland or the Animas River for a perfect adventure date once the weather warms up. This one is great for the whole family and even pet friendly. 

Dinner and Drinks Maybe a cozy night with a great cocktail is more up your ally. Here are a few of my favorites.  The Ore House Olio The Bookcase and Barber

Dinner and Drinks

Maybe a cozy night with a great cocktail is more up your ally. Here are a few of my favorites. 

The Ore House

Olio

The Bookcase and Barber

Relaxing Day at the Hot Springs Sitting in the hot springs while it snows outside is one of the best winter activities found north of Durango. Either make it a spa day or stop at the hot springs after a day of skiing. 

Relaxing Day at the Hot Springs

Sitting in the hot springs while it snows outside is one of the best winter activities found north of Durango. Either make it a spa day or stop at the hot springs after a day of skiing. 

Hiking or Mountain Biking Durango is an amazing place to adventure with the people you love. Whether your thing is hiking or mountain biking there are hundreds of miles of trails in and around Durango for you to explore. Plenty of local shops provide great trail advice as well as bike rentals if you want to try out a new activity. One of my favorite trail systems to make a day out of is Phil's World

Hiking or Mountain Biking

Durango is an amazing place to adventure with the people you love. Whether your thing is hiking or mountain biking there are hundreds of miles of trails in and around Durango for you to explore. Plenty of local shops provide great trail advice as well as bike rentals if you want to try out a new activity. One of my favorite trail systems to make a day out of is Phil's World

Skate Skiing at Hillcrest Hillcrest has a groomed track in the winter for skate skiing as well as a track for classic cross country skiing. It is a great course for both fast and slow skiers and with a five minute drive to any of your  favorite coffee shops can you really go wrong?>

Skate Skiing at Hillcrest

Hillcrest has a groomed track in the winter for skate skiing as well as a track for classic cross country skiing. It is a great course for both fast and slow skiers and with a five minute drive to any of your  favorite coffee shops can you really go wrong?>

Best Après Work Ski Areas

Best Après Work Ski Areas

Chapman Hill

It doesn't get much better when the drive to go skiing is less than 5 minutes from your front door. Chapman Hill is a local favorite, although a small ski hill it offers a variety of skill levels a great day or evening of skiing. My favorite part of taking the kids to Chapman is being able to see them at any point on the hill all while sipping hot cocoa or coffee at the bottom.

Hesperus Ski Area

Recently acquired by the same company that owns Purgatory Resort this Durango classic is a must visit. Only 11 miles West of Durango on Highway 160 we like to think of this as the perfect after work ski destination. They are best known for there night skiing and "old school" ski area feel. New to skiing? We just learned they offer free lessons to first-timers!

Annual Holiday Movie Party

If you haven't had the chance to make it to this event yet it is time to put it on your radar for next holiday season. This year we had around 400 attendants come watch the movies and donate items to Project Merry Christmas. Project Merry Christmas is one of my favorite non-profits to help out, you are able to "adopt" families during the holidays in order to give back to those in need and help our community become even more outstanding. If you click on the "Learn More" button it will take you directly to their website and you can learn even more about Project Merry Christmas!

Theater part 12.3.16 Invite.jpg

Does It Make Sense to Move Up?

A vast majority of real estate articles are focused on first-time buyers. There is actually a segment of the real estate market called the “move-up market,” which, as its name implies, fits buyers who want to move into a larger home. This market describes homeowners who need a larger home or would like more land and property. For several reasons, the local La Plata County market is currently ripe for move-up buyers.

There is a real opportunity for homeowners to sell their homes in the more median price ranges of the market and “move up” to a home of their dreams. The values have increased for the low and mid-priced homes, yet the higher priced homes are still lagging. This makes it the perfect time to capitalize on the advantages of the impacted median-range home prices, and buy in the softer market of the higher-priced homes.

At this time, buyers may get more home for smaller differences in payment. In the past, the leap to move up would have been larger; now, buyers will have a smaller difference in house payment. This is a huge factor—why pay more in the future when the best value may be now?

Additionally, low interest rates make it easy now, but that may change in the future. As we have noted in the past, we are still sitting at historically low interest rates. Last week, we saw mortgage rates at a 4 month high, and a recent Wall Street Journal article states that it is likely the Federal Reserve will initiate an interest rate increase in December (http://www.wsj.com/articles/feds-task-next-week-signal-december-rate-rise-1477351253).

In La Plata County, there is an excellent selection of homes for buyers in the higher-priced range. If you are considering a move-up scenario, the inventory is strong now in this market segment, allowing choices and variety in home selection.

Finally, the property taxes are still low in La Plata County. Take advantage of lower taxes, lower interest rates, and a variety of home options available. For a strong visual, take a look at the median price change in the last two years in each market price range (below). As you can see, in all homes over $500,000, values have decreased in the last two years. In the under-$500,000 range, values have increased. If you would like to move to a larger home, now is a prime time. As always, please let us know if you have any questions, or would like to discuss the market further.

La Plata County (All Residential Units)

Median Price / Two Year Change:

Price Range: 10/25/13 thru 10/25/14 10/25/15 thru 10/25/16

0- $500,000 $287,500 $307,875 +7.1 %

$500,000-$750,000 $580,000 $570,000 -1.7 %

$750,000-$1 Million $855,000 $827,450 -3.2 %

$1Million-$2 Million $1,265,000 $1,231,250 -2.7 %

Harvest Party

We love getting to bring all of our favorite people together in the fall and what's even better is when the kids get to have their own fun as well! This year the Harvest Party fell on Halloween weekend, which means costumes were in full swing for the little ones. It turned out to be a perfect fall day and everyone was able to enjoy the last bit of warmth.

Huge thanks to SKA and The Container for the perfect venue, pizza, and beer (can you really ever go wrong with that combo??). Durango provides us with the perfect backdrop for a wonderful community, clients, and friends. So thankful for all of you!

See you next year!

Meet Ellen Golden

Hi, I’m Ellen Golden. I've called Durango home since 1995. Chelsea and I have known each other for 12 years, and I’m thrilled to be working as her assistant. This is my first foray into the business side of real estate. Before this, I worked for 10 years with Korn/Ferry (formerly Lore International Institute) and for 8 years with PennWell Publishing (formerly MAPSearch Services).

In 2015, I started a company called Bona Dea Products that makes Pretty Cool® hot flash relief on the spot. With the help of SCAPE (Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs), I got the company started and my products are selling on Amazon and through catalogs. It’s been a wonderful experience.

I am mother to my amazing 8-year-old daughter Marissa and wife of 11 years to my husband Ken. Rounding out the family is our sweet Humane Society rescue dog, Eva. I enjoy reading, hiking, camping, snowshoeing, traveling, and living in Durango. I’ve lived in a total of 10 states and in 25 different houses, so I have lots of experience moving.

I look forward to working with you.

Parade of Homes this Weekend!

If you are looking for a great activity this weekend to get out and enjoy the fall colors and local new construction, check out the Parade of Homes.

http://www.durangopoh.com/

Every year, in September, the Home Builders Association puts on this event to showcase the builders' recent projects. Some of the homes featured are for sale, but many are custom homes that are not for sale and won't be able to be seen later.

My favorite part of the Parade is the Night Under the Stars, from 5-9pm on Friday night. This is the best time to see the $1-2 million dollar homes at night with the lights on. Also, some of the builders host a cocktail party with wine and appetizers. This year, you can also "Grill and Chill" at SW Appliance from 5-9 on Friday. **Also, the rec center is offering $20 childcare on Friday night!

The Parade continues both Saturday and Sunday and if you go to all of the homes, you can enter to win some fabulous prizes such as a Green Egg Grill, granite countertops, an appliance package, and a work bench. In fact, my clients were visiting one year from AZ and they happened to WIN the grand prize appliance package!

Tickets are $20 each and you can buy them Here

A new event for kids this year is the Young Builders Lego Challenge at the Powerhouse Science Center on Saturday. Entry is free for kids whos parent has a Parade ticket, or $10 per child if the parent does not have a Parade ticket.

Many of you have been asking if my husband, Trevor has a project in the Parade of Homes this year. We get to have this September off!! Trevor doesn't have a home in the parade this year due to the scheduling of his project completions, but he will be in next year!

Some of you may remeber his Parade winner from 2013 on the Pine River in Bayfield. Pine River Home

This modern home, photographerd above, was his entry last year! Two Dogs Home

I've got some clients who entered their new home in Edgemont Highlands, built by Edgewood Construction, on Monarch Crest, so I'll be out and about looking at homes this weekend.

Hope to see you there!
Chelsea

Catch the Last Bit of Summer!

Summer is slowly coming to an end! If you happened to miss out on the great summer events Durango has to offer, you are in luck! Durango still has a few exciting events coming up!

     1. San Juan Brewfest

Source: http://sanjuanbrewfest.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/crowd-shot.jpg

Source: http://sanjuanbrewfest.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/crowd-shot.jpg

     Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 27th 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM! Located in Buckley Park (12th and Main), there will be 54 craft breweries and distilleries, along with live music and food vendors for your enjoyment! General Admission tickets ($32.49) gets you a 5 oz souvenir tasting glass and unlimited tastings. There are upgraded and VIP tickets available as well. Visit www.sanjuanbrewfest.com for more information.

     2. Farmers Market

Copyright 2016 Sydney Jeanne Design

Copyright 2016 Sydney Jeanne Design

     Don't miss Saturday mornings at the First National Bank parking lot! Every Saturday until the end of October is our local Farmers Market! A place where our community comes together to share their creative talents and harvests! Live music + veggies + meats + cheeses + jewelry + fresh food and more! Come down and show some local support! Don't forget to buy a t-shirt and bumper sticker with their new 2016 design! Design by my very own assistant, Sydney! 

      3. Durango Blues Train

Rockin’ Jake on the 2014 Durango Blues Train. Copyright Kevin Younger Photography.

Rockin’ Jake on the 2014 Durango Blues Train. Copyright Kevin Younger Photography.

      Limited tickets left for Friday, August 12th! Saturday is already SOLD OUT! Don't miss out on this incredibly unique and fun night! A two night event (August 12-13th) on the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train ride is approximately 3.5 hours long and will feature 2 full bands + 4 individual artists. Once the train gets going, attendees are free to move about the train cars to see the different artists, dance around, purchase food and drinks at the concession cart, and use the restrooms. Visit www.durangobluestrain.com for more lineup, tickets, and more information. 

     4. Mushroom Festival

Source: https://www.purgatoryresort.com/events/mushroom-festival/

Source: https://www.purgatoryresort.com/events/mushroom-festival/

          This annual festival is located at Purgatory (Durango Mountain Resort). It is a two day event. Friday from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM is an exquisite 6-course meal featuring wild mushrooms picked from the mountain (tickets to each event are sold separately and are expected to sell out). Saturday morning at 9:00 AM is a guided mushroom hunt on the mountain. Experts will help you identify different types of mushrooms along with other helpful info! Starting at 1:00 PM is the culinary showcase. Five local fine dining restaurants will be participating: Eolus, East by Southwest, Ore House, Mutu's and Purgy's. Each dish will include mushrooms and a wine pairing chosen by the chef. Visit the event website for ticket prices and more details. 

Second Quarter MLS Statistical Release

Hi Friends,

    Below is the 2016 second quarter statistical release from the Durango Area Association of Realtors. This table is great summary of what is going on in our local market. It shows the median price and # of solds in the different categories of home/land throughout Durango, Bayfield, and Purgatory area. Have a look below and call or email me if you have any questions!

Chelsea

 

 

Durango Events THIS WEEKEND!

The weather is finally heating up in Durango; flowers are blooming; rainy days are making everything green and beautiful! Just in time for a great spring event weekend to kickoff Durango's fun-fulled summer! If you don't have plans for this weekend quite yet, I suggest you check out at least one of the following events!

Source: http://www.ironhorseinndurango.com/why-stay-with-us/

Source: http://www.ironhorseinndurango.com/why-stay-with-us/

MAY 13TH - SPRING GALLERY WALK    
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ DOWNTOWN MAIN

Starting at 5pm, there are 13 galleries located downtown that are participating in the "Spring Gallery Walk." Each gallery will be displaying local and regional artists, as well as showcasing a little something new and exciting! 

Source: http://www.foxfirefarms.com/tasteofspring

Source: http://www.foxfirefarms.com/tasteofspring

MAY 14TH - 15TH - TASTE OF SPRING
1:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ FOX FIRE FARMS IN IGNACIO

An amazing spring kickoff event for the whole family! Five hours of live music, petting baby farm animals, face painting, local artisans and more! Free admission!

Source: https://www.peachsneetfeet.com/event/taste-of-durango/

Source: https://www.peachsneetfeet.com/event/taste-of-durango/

MAY 15TH - TASTE OF DURANGO
11:00 PM - 2:00 PM @ DOWNTOWN MAIN

Durango's annual summer kick-off party! A fabulous festival with a ton of local restaurants and craft brewery vendors. Buy tokens at the entrance and use them to sample all the incredible local food, beer, cocktails, and more! Previous years have had local attendance of 78%! Come downtown for a great Sunday with amazing music and familiar faces!

5 Durango Restaurants to Bike to

One of the greatest things about Durango is that you can ride your bike everywhere you need to go in town. Durango is not only bike friendly, but the city is continuously making improvements to our roads by add more bike lanes, and making it increasingly safer for bikers/cyclists. If riding on the main roads sounds a bit scary, Durango has an amazing river trail system just for that. Not only is the river trail great for taking an afternoon stroll, exercising and accessing the river...but it also has some great restaurants along the way. 

  1. Animas Brewing Company

    Animas Brewing Company (ABC) is located right off the river trail at Rotary Park. They have great in-house brews and a delicious food menu. A great place for impromptu dinners since they don't catch the rush of people from downtown. They have great burgers and pasties (meat pies), check out their full menu on their website.

  2. Powerhouse Science Center

    The Powerhouse Science Center is located right on the river trail where Camino Del Rio meets Main Avenue. The Powerhouse is a great place to take your kids, and it is not just a museum! In the summer season, they open their tent outside and sell beer and hot dogs! Great Saturday activity for the fam! For adults, make sure to check out their Trivia night on Thursdays at 6:30 PM. Bring four of your friends to make a team of 5, and enjoy local brews while playing 5 rounds of 10 questions! Check out their website for more details.

  3. Serious Texas Barbecue

    Serious Texas Barbecue is located off the river trail and up Camino Del Rio by the Durango Mall. A little farther along the river trail, you will get a little exercise in before a yummy lunch or dinner! This Serious Texas location is great because it overlooks the river and they have a great outdoor seating. When the weather is nice, after eating you can enjoy a round of mini-golf with the kids! Perfect activity after eating a huge Texas Taco (local favorite, beef brisket with cheesy potatoes, onion and jalepeno on a flour tortilla). Check out their website for their entire menu.

  4. Ska Brewing Co

    Ska Brewing Co is a little farther than the previous three. You will have to bike across Camino Del Rio and up the sloped Girard Street. Here you can drink local, award-winning beer at the Ska World Headquarters. Don't forget to try the local seasonal favorite, Mexican Logger. To soak up some of those suds, you can grab some grub at their restaurant, The Container. The kitchen and pizza oven are located inside a shipping container attached to the main building. Find great fresh salads, sandwiches, and brick oven pizza served from 11 AM to 8 PM. Check out their website for more info and events.

  5. RESTAURANT COMING SOON!

    Stay tuned, and keep a look out on my blog! There is a new restaurant coming soon to Durango and it will be located on the river! Another great place to bike to and enjoy a beautiful summer day. I will release more details as soon as this transaction closes! 

 

5 Best Springtime Activities in Durango

If you have lived in Colorado for more than a year, you already know that the spring weather changes daily. One day it's sunny with a high of 75, and the next day we're getting 2 feet of snow! Despite the crazy weather, the best part of spring in Durango are the events! Check out my favorite 5 springtime activities to put on your calendar this spring!

  1. Hiking Trails
    Durango has so many incredible hiking trails. Take advantage of one of these warm, sunny days and get hiking! Check out this website for different trails and their conditions. Always good to check the conditions before heading out! 

  2. Durango Bluegrass Meltdown
    April 15th-17th  10:00 AM - 10:00 PM @ Downtown Durango
    Come downtown and enjoy live bluegrass music for three days at various venues downtown. There will be over 20 different bands performing throughout the three days. Some bands choose to play at a few of the bars later with no cover charge! There will also be various indoor and outdoor locations for informal jam sessions. Go to this website for more information and an updated lineup.

  3. Durango Farmer's Market
    Saturdays May 14th-October 29th 8:00 AM - Noon @ First National Bank Parking Lot
    Great venue full of local farmers, value-added vendors, artisans, live music, and more! All goods are grown/made by their seller. Fantastic weekly event that supports Durango locals and our community!

  4. The Taste of Durango
    Sunday May 15th 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ Downtown Durango
    All of downtown Main closes for this epic Durango event! Many local restaurants and breweries have a booths set up where you can sample dishes and beer with tokens. Do not miss out on all the fun, live music and dancing!

  5. Iron Horse Bicycle Classic
    May 28th-30th 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM from Durango to Silverton
    One of Durango's most popular events. Every year thousands of cyclists come down to Durango to race the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to Silverton. The first race was back in 1972 with only 36 riders!

Do you have any favorite springtime activities in Durango? Let me know in the comments! 

All Aboard the Polar Express!

   If you have kids and are lucky enough to live in the Durango area, odds are you'll be riding the Polar Express annually for several years! 

The train ride lasts about 2 hours and it goes out to the North Pole (aka Sleeping Beauty Ranch in the Animas Valley). The "Chefs" on board are very cute teens--in fact our nanny was one a couple years ago. They are usually theater students looking for extra money during break! Luckily the train ride is entertaining for the kids with all the singing and treats. Kids often dress in pajamas or a robe, which makes it extra cute! 

This year, my mother in law came to visit and we rode the Polar Express with all the cousins! As you can imagine, it was nutty!

After the ride, the kids can meet Santa and sit on his lap. Ryder said he wanted a "quiet robot" for Christmas!!! (It's because last year Santa brought him robot that was too loud and it scared him!)

Unfortunately, the Polar Express can be expensive and there are families who aren't able to ride this train. Last year I donated 4 seats to a family in need. I found them through the Family Center  who was incredibly helpful in organizing this. 

Since the holidays fill me with extra gratitude, I try to help those who are less fortunate every year. This year I've adopted two families in need (one is elderly and one is disabled) and plan to do some shopping and cooking for them. I look forward to doing this, and I plan to involve my kids more in the process so they can help too. 

For more information on Project Merry Christmas, click here

Let me know ways that you like to get involved with the community. I am always looking for more ways to help! 

Happiest of Holidays to you all! 

F A L L I N G For Durango

Sydney here! (Chelsea's assistant if this is your first time to her blog)! Living in Durango since 2009 when I moved here for FLC (Fort Lewis College), I have come to realize that Durango has the most magnificent fall season. I have not seen another Colorado street as beautiful as Historic 3rd Avenue amidst the giant orange row of trees. We can all learn a lot from fall, besides appreciation for mother nature. We can learn that change and letting go can be truly beautiful. Since fall is my favorite season, I wanted to share some of the photos I have taken around town this season. Enjoy! 

Harvest Party

In case you weren't able to make last Sunday's Harvest Party, here are some pictures! We had an absolute blast. The morning was a little worrisome with the downpour, but it cleared out and turned into a beautiful fall day! We had family activities including punching balloons, corn hole and real goats! 

  Big thanks to James Ranch for such a breathtaking fall location and not to mention the DELICIOUS burgers and hot dogs they cooked up for us. Grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community and to have such amazing clients!

See you all next year! 

Sutherland Farms Pumpkin Festival

   Sutherland Farms in Aztec, New Mexico is a family owned retail and wholesale market and farm. The owners, Allen & D'rese Sutherland, have been in the farming business for 35 years, and you are likely to see three generations at work when you visit!
   Not only does Sutherland Farms sell delicious food at the Purple Cow Cafe on site (think freshly roasted green chilies atop your burger, smoked brisket, and seasonal veggies--say whaat), the farm ALSO has what Chelsea would call "the best family fall event."
   Every weekend in October from 10 am to 5 pm is Sutherland Farm's "Pumpkin Festival." If you can't picture what that looks like, check out the Krueger Fam photo from last fall below! CUTE!

     What does the Pumpkin Festival entail you ask? For just $5 admission (kids under 12 get in free) you get to enjoy the corn maze, corn pit, hay ride, and duck races! There are also packages you can purchase for your kids. A $5 package includes face paint and a train ride or pumpkin shooter.
     There are also a ton of pumpkins to choose from! Roam around with the family and find the perfect pumpkin for each of you to carve! Click here to visit their website for more info. You can also watch a video of the festival from a few years ago, here.
    

Until next time!

- Sydney

Our Beloved Animas River

Photo Credit: Jerry McBride—Durango Herald

Photo Credit: Jerry McBride—Durango Herald

You've probably heard the recent news of the contamination of the Animas River. The EPA was reportedly doing some clean up work and caused a spill of over 3 million gallons of toxic mine waste water into our river. 

A huge orange plume of contaminated water made its way down through Durango, leaving sediment and solids behind. The content is believed to be mostly metals such as iron, manganese, lead and other scary stuff like mercury and arsenic. 

This is of course devastating to the community on so many levels. I'd say everyone who lives in Durango appreciates our natural beauty and environment. There are over 1,000 water wells that are affected, numerous irrigation ditches that serve our farms and livestock, and of course City of Durango pulls water from the Animas daily- an estimated 5+ million gallons. Currently they've taken measures to close off the ditches and City water system and pull water from other sources but that means strict conservation for in-town residents. 

Who will be accountable to the farmers and ranchers, raft companies, fly fishermen who have hundreds of employees and currently zero income? Who will be accountable to the residents of Durango who rely heavily on this life blood for recreation, tourism, and drinking water? What about the communities downstream, like the Navajo Nation and Lake Powell and the Colorado River?

This is a very devastating event that I believe will take years to recover. I would say a couple positives have come out of this: 

1. An amazing amount of people in our community are concerned and making their voices heard. 

2. This sheds some light on an issue that has been ongoing for years. There are hundreds of mines north of Durango that need to be cleaned up. Our river has been polluted before. Hopefully this event will bring some awareness to getting things cleaned up. 

3. This is a good reminder how precious our Earth is and how much we need to appreciate it and not take it for granted. We choose to live in a beautiful community and it's important we take care of it. 

While there are many unknowns at this point, and we have very little information from the EPA regarding how bad this really is and how this will all be cleaned up, here are some resources for more information. 

Background story- Very informative! This is not a new issue.

http://www.hcn.org/articles/when-our-river-turned-orange-animas-river-spill

Listen to Past Community Meetings

Listen to the most recent community meeting: http://livestream.com/durango-herald

Stay up to date with future meetings by visiting the La Plata County Website:

http://www.co.laplata.co.us/

Sign a Petition to hold the EPA responsible for their actions. Not sure how valuable this is, they did admit fault, but as a government agency how are they going to hold themselves accountable?

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/hold-epa-employees-responsible-discharge-mine-waste-animas-river-colorado

I'm keeping hope that things are not as bad as they could be and we find a way to resolve things soon. 

I'll keep you posted!