Latest News on the Saguache Hotel

ScSEED has been working for nearly a year to secure the funds to support both a Historic Structure Assessment (HSA) and a Market Study for the Saguache Hotel.  We are pleased to thank the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the State Historical Fund, and the USDA Rural Business Development Program for the grants they've awarded in recognition of the importance of this project.  We are also excited to announce work is now underway!  While ScSEED will provide grant management and outreach support, we have hired experienced professionals to conduct the tasks at hand.  


Smoyer & Associates, a local consulting business with years of experience working with Saguache County communities, will be preforming the markey study.  The study will help to determine the highest and best use for the structure.  For more information and the chance to provide valuable insight on this component, please TAKE SMOYER & ASSOCIATES COMMUNITY INPUT SURVEY by clicking this link:


Scheuber and Darden Architect's has completed over 75 HSA's for clients who have been awarded grants with the State Historical Fund, and has also completed over 25 restoration and rehabilitation projects.  The firm will conduct the HSA for the Saguache Hotel in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.  If you are interested in greater detail on this aspect of the project, please refer to the HSA Scope of Work:


The Saguache Hotel is a beautiful landmark structure integral to preserving the character and unique sense of place of downtown Saguache.  Because hotel repairs have been neglected for years, and many potential buyers have turned away because so little is known about the condition of the structure and the potential market for success, ScSEED identified this project as a priorty.  Once the studies are completed, the results will be available to the public.  The HSA and Market Study will provide a foundation critical to determine next steps concerning physical repairs and restoration work for the property.  The results may also prove imperative to securing additional funding sources for the project.






Thanks to all who joined us for Crestfest 2016!

And a big thank you to the event coordiantors for bringing talented musicial acts, sustainable living & building workshops & demonstrations, food and merch vendors, movers & shakers, and inspiration to the beautiful foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.








CrestFest/Energy Fair




Recieve a stipend for a REAP ELIGIBLE proposal ($1,000) or Value Added or RBEG/RBOG ELIBIBLE proposal ($2,000)

Mary Hoffman, with Adams State University, will be at the USDA Grants Workshop this Tuesday, where you are invited to connect with her on the wonderful opportunity to get funds to pay a grant writer for your project submission.  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE


Join us for a USDA Grants Workshop, Tuesday, Dec 8 at the Center (Fyock) Library

Join presenter Donald Nunn, Colorado State Office Business and Cooperative Loan Specialist and Energy Coordinator for USDA Rural Development, as he walks us through how to apply and qualify for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG).  Donald has been with Rural Development for 7 years, and offers a qualified look into managing these opportunities.  He has a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science/Ag-Business from West Texas A&M University, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.  Donald is a fifth generation Colorado Native hailing from the Eagle Valley.


Who should attend?

These programs are geared to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses.  If you are looking for financial help to install renawable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements, REAP may be for you.  The VAPG Program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities relating to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products.  The goals of the VAPG Program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opporuntites, and increase producer incomes.  Priority may be given to begining farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, small or medium sized ranches structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain.







Grant Writing Workshop, Sept. 18 in Moffat

A big thank you to our presentor, professional grant writer Michelle LeBlanc, for sharing skills and techniques garnered from over 20 years with nonprofits in the San Luis Valey and beyond.  She provided a concise look at how to develop your best efforts with a flexible template that will save time & energy, and a strategy for developing relationships with funders.

Also, thank you to our partners and supporters, the El Pomar Foundation, Saguache County, Jeff Owsley & the SBDC, and the kind staff at Moffat Consolidated Schools who provided space and technical assistance for the workshop!







Industrial Hemp & The Colorado Hemp Project

Learn about the potential for Industrial Hemp Growth in the San Luis Valley from those who have navigated the process, -from the DEA to the Department of Ag, to the farm itself. The Northern San Luis Valley Conservation Roundtable is pleased to host Mary Hoffman, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Sustainability Solutions at Adams State, Rebecca Burgess, Executive Director of Fibershed, and others, to educate us on their COLORADO HEMP RESEARCH PROJECT currently underway in the Valley.  The primary interest of the project is the commercial potential of hempcrete and hemp fiber. 


Mary Hoffman began by researching hemp twine as an alternative to plastic baling twine, and as a possible cash crop for Valley farmers.  Rebecca Burgess works with Fibershed, a nonprofit project, to address and inform people regarding the environmental, economic and social benefits of de-centralizing the textile supply chain.


Join us to gather resources, network, and learn what steps have been made to determine the viability of hemp as an agricultural product for the SLV!


The Northern San Luis Valley Conservation Roundtable will be meeting at the Saguache County Road & Bridge Conference Room at 5:30PM on Thursday, August 20th.  All are welcome.  We will break at 6:15 for mingling and snacks.  Presentations will begin at 6:30PM. The Road & Bridge Room is located at 305 3rd Street, Saguache, CO.  We look forward to seeing you there!



Alpine Achievers Initiative - AmeriCorps Positions

We are pleased to announce the AAI AmeriCorps Positions have been filled! AmeriCorps members will be placed at Crestone Charter School, Moffatt School or Mountain Valley School to provide tutoring and afterschool programming for local K-12 students.  AmeriCorps memers will be trained in either literacy or mathematics interventions and provide small group or one-on-one tutoring to students performing below proficiency. Members will also have opportunities to explore the Rocky Mountains through various organized outdoor leadership activities such as cross-country skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing and whitewater rafting.  Read more



Volunteer with ScSEED May 30

ScSEED is looking for volunteers to help enhance access to public lands in Saguache County Saturday, May 30. Explore this beautiful area between Villa Grove and the ghost town of Bonanza while learning new trail maintenance skills. Tools, safety gear, and training is provided, plus volunteers will receive lunch and a t-shirt. No trail maintenance or volunteer experience is necessary. The group will meet at 8:30am at the Soda Springs Trailhead, work until about 2pm and then enjoy the afternoon with hikes and tours in the Bonanza and Kerber Creek area. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE!




The 15th Annual Ranching Celebration! 


For 14 years, ScSEED and the Saguache County Museum have gathered with the community to honor the ranching tradition, so strong and important to this region, with an annual celebration full with food, song, stories and poetry. In the advent of our 15th year, we strive to expand the celebration so that it not only looks back upon a beloved legacy but also looks forward to the futures of our farms and ranches.  Together with Orient Land Trust, the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas, and the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, we will host the film HANNA RANCH at the Ute Theatre on Saturday, April 25th.  Hanna Ranch is a moving documentary about visionary cattleman Kirk Hanna and his personal struggle to protect a once prominent way of life in Colorado.  The documentary will be followed by a panel discussion reflecting on the issues raised by the film and holistic land management practices. Food and drink will be available for purchase from the theatre.

On Sunday, April 26th the traditional Ranching Celebration event will be held at the Sagauche Community Center.  Enjoy a CHUCKWAGON DINNER sourced from LOCAL PRODUCERS, sponsored by Blue Range Ranch (Saguache), Chokurei Ranch (Crestone), Little Red Hen Bakery (Salida), and Mirage Roastery (Moffat), and learn about your local growers through the power of taste! There will be a variety of talented presenters and performers, emceed by Cowgirl-Poet Peggy Godfrey, sharing POETRY, MUSIC, and STORIES.  Kids and those of us with child-like tendancies are welcome to try their hand at indoor horseshoes, (details include plastic 'shoes and appropriate prizes), and cowboy crafts. There will also be representatives from a number of land trusts and organizations to share information on current ranching and agriculture opportunities including GUIDESTONE COLORADO and the COLORADO LAND LINK PROGRAM.


A big thank you to our community members, and to our event sponsors: MONTE VISTA COOP, FIRST SOUTHWEST BANK, AVENTA CREDIT UNION, and GUNBARREL STATION, who make this celebration possible!






2014 ScSEED Annual Report

Projects, events, finances, staff info and more!  ScSEED is committed to promoting economic development and environmental sustainability - Check out what we've been up to and find out how to get involved!



Fancy Dress Required for the Release Celebration of a Saguache County Heritage Brochure

With the help of a number of county residents and the Saguache County Tourism Council, ScSEED has completed Sagauche County's first heritage brochure and map. It is with great pride that we help to share the unique culture, the intiguing history of both people and place, and the beautiful landscape of our expansive nook in the Northern San Luis Valley.  The heritage brochure encourages exploration and facilitates travel for residents and tourists alike, while also promoting local business and overall conservation and preservation efforts through the ideals it celebrates.


Please email Tess at to contribute information or high resolution photography to the brochures online companion. Thank you!



Wild & Scenic & the Wilderness Act 

On October 18, ScSEED and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado co-hosted the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the Historic Ute Theatre in Saguache, CO to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  To all of you who took part in the event, your support made the festival a success.  Thank you for a wonderful evening!


When President Johnson signed the Wilderness Bill he stated, "The Wilderness Bill declares for our prosperity, for all time to come, 9 million acres of this vast continent in their origional and unchanging beauty and wonder."  50 years later and those 9 million acres protected by the Wilderness Act have grown to include nearly 110 million acres.  The numbers alone show the importance we as a people put on our wild spaces.  The struggle to maintain harmony between man and environment is the heart of conservation. 


Email or join the ScSEED mailing list to get involved with conservation projects in the Northern San Luis Valley.





Green Earth Farm helps bring the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to Saguache

There is beauty in Green Earth Farm that resonates with hard work and the essence of jobs being done to their very best. Founders and Co-Managers Tom and Lillian McKracken have been producing organic food for over 24 years on this land, 7,900 feet up, cradled by an ancient sea bed and the world's largest caldera.  ScSEED is proud to acknowledge Green Earth Farm for helping to bring the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, a renowned tour of environmental films, to Saguache County this October.  



The Value of Water: Kerber Creek Restoration Advances into the 2014 Field Season

The Kerber Creek Restoration Project (KCRP) is a multi-agency, public and private collaboration that endevours to restore the Kerber watershed from detrimental impacts of historic mining.  The KCRP has been addressing this area in the Northern San Luis Valley for nearly a decade, and has transformed the degraded environment back to one capable of sustaining life.  To learn more about the projects recent accomplishments and future, from brass tacks improvements and volunteer projects to new field opportunities with the Univeristy of Colorado and Colorado College, check out the Summer 2014 Kerber Creek Quarterly.



Dave Martinez Park is Open in Downtown Saguache

The installation of this pocket park on Fourth Street, next to the Ute Theatre, was part of the Saguache Downtown Revitalization Project and was made possible by a partnership between ScSEED, the Town of Saguache, Saguache County, the Gates Family Foundation, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), Kim Smoyer, Burt Wadman, Don Jensen, RMMP Inc., Baxter MV Lumber, Laura Archuleta, Kate Vasha and a number of individual donors and volunteers. The park is already being utilized as a community gathering place, a resource for local historic information and the site of the farmers market on Fridays throughout the summer. Look for a current calendar of community events posted on the park's kiosk. Many thanks to everyone who participated in this project.



Saguache Works - 4th Street Local Foods Store OPEN!

In May, ScSEED recieved a grant to partner with Saguache Works who is embarking on a new economic development project in downtown Saguache. The new 4th Street Food Store is located in the Welcome Center at 404 4th street and offers a variety of produce, dried goods and other local products. Spinach, tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, kale, chard and much more is available at affordable prices. In addition they have healthy snacks and drinks as well as honey and goat's milk soap. Coming soon - organic, locally milled flour and jerky made in the San Luis Valley.  Follow them on facebook at or sign up for frequent updates by emailing





For updates on projects, initiative and events in the Saguache County Area,

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HISTORIC WALKING TOUR OF SAGUACHE which you can print (double-sided), fold in half and away you go on a wonderful tour of historic 4th Street and surrounding area in Saguache.  Click here to download a copy to print (warning: this is a large file because of all the wonderful old photos - please be patient it's worth the wait!)


Click here to get your copy of the RANCHING WAY OF LIFE DVD! Read reviews and find out more about how ScSEED is working to preserve Saguache County ranching heritage.



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Ranching Way of Life DVD

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