Nurturing Nature in our Valley 1

Ah, May: the month that truly brings the Roaring Fork Valley back to life. After a cold winter and the ever-unpredictable month of April, May ushers us from mud season to sun season in a mere 31 days. Cue the green trees, late hours of daylight, and picnics in the park.

This time of year, the world around seems to positively jingle with delights: neighborhood gardens bursting with blooms, scents of freshly cut lawns, rivers gushing with cold snowmelt, rays of sunshine warming everything they touch. Have you put your bare toes in the grass yet? It’s time.

The month of May delivers many treats for those who find joy in the natural world, but it also serves as a reminder that everything around us is alive. After the long sleep of winter we see the buds form, the birds stir, and the fish flicker in the stream; but, these wonders do come with a cost. We must work to care for them if we wish to enjoy their return each spring.

In this issue, our writers examine the efforts that many individuals and organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley are putting forth to help maintain this spectacular natural environment that we all love so dearly. Kate Lapides reports on a new midvalley WE-cycle initiative, Geneviève Joëlle Villamizar brings insight on green waste management and the value of fostering artistic creativity in the wild, and Nicolette Toussaint tells the story of an incredible energy-producing home in Satank. A note on air quality from Garfield County Public Health’s Morgan Hill and a reflection on sustainability from Colorado Mountain College’s Adrian Fielder add a layer of expertise from within the community. Plus, I had the distinct pleasure of working with local aquatic biologist Kendall Bakich to record the fascinating story of the valley’s indigenous cutthroat trout subspecies. If you can catch one of Kendall’s frequent presentations about her work, do—it’s fascinating stuff.

Our valley is one beautiful, beloved place. Let this month of May ask the question, “What can we do to nurture it?”

I’d love to hear about your favorite springtime sights from across the region. I’ll start by sharing mine: carpets of bright yellow dandelions spread as far as the eye can see across the fields of Missouri Heights.