Conejos Clean Water
“Funding from The Trinchera Blanca Foundation helped support us here at Conejos Clean Water to continue standing strong for environmental justice in the Conejos Land Grant Region. We were able to increase our engagement of youth with the natural world through nature outings on our precious public lands, including a camping trip with the Boys & Girls Club of the San Luis Valley! We look forward to another year of increasing public awareness and encouraging education and advocacy around justice issues here at home.” – Justin Garoutte, Executive Director
Conejos County is one of Colorado’s lowest income and most underserved areas with almost twenty percent of families living in poverty. The area is affected by environmental justice issues such as illegal dumping, toxic waste and a lack of access to healthy, locally grown food (also known as food justice).
Conejos Clean Water (CCW) launched in 2010 through a struggle for environmental justice when radioactive, hazardous nuclear waste was to be transferred at a site just south of town, right next to the San Antonio River. Now, CCW builds public awareness and encourages advocacy and education around environmental, social, economic, and food justice issues in the Conejos Land Grant Region.
In 2016, focused on social justice and pollution prevention to improve the local residents’ health, CCW educated the community and organized advocacy and action around issues such as hydraulic fracturing and illegal dumping. Their Valleybound program promotes healthy living practices through agriculture, conservation, sustainability and exploration at the Antonito School and Community Garden. Their educational farm provides economic opportunity for community members, utilizing a regional marketing platform for local farmers, artists and business owners. CCW holds regular workshops addressing issues such as diabetes, obesity, native foods, and environmental protection.