The Crestone Eagle • December, 2020
Crestone Baca Resiliency after 4 years
by Kate Steichen, Co-founder & Chair, CBR
Crestone Baca Resiliency (CBR) is a grassroots, volunteer organization committed to implementing our community’s dynamic vision of resiliency, with specific goals in the areas of Energy, Food, Water, Governance, Paradigm Shift, and Community Development.
In the summer of 2016, a small group began meeting weekly, concerned that we were not doing more to prepare for climate dislocations. Being located as we are at the end of the road, we wondered how resilient our tiny community would be if the power grid went down, and/or we faced a fire emergency, shortage of gasoline, food, water, etc. We knew that the way not to feel like a victim is to do what we can do. But what was it that our community wanted to do?
In order to create a community vision of resiliency, we convened a professionally-facilitated Search Conference in late March 2017. One hundred community members worked together over 3 days at Colorado College’s Conference Center. Representatives from business, arts, health, spirituality, gardening, building, education, elders, youth, longtime residents, and newcomers created a vision, then voted with their feet to create action groups committed to each aspect of the community vision.
The action groups met independently, with representatives from each coming together monthly to share updates, accomplishments, and challenges at our CBR Council.
Energy Action Group
Mission: Support energy self-reliance for Crestone/Baca
• 40 locals registered with CBR Solarize to explore installing PV solar at their homes
• Solar Energy International provided 5 scholarships to local trainees for their PV installer course
• Designed and hosted a solar survey of local residents
• Hosted a Solar 101 class
• Coordinated with CO Energy Office’s RENU program & Aventa to offer PV financing
• Introduced visiting Colorado College students to PV
Food Action Group
Mission: Create food security for Crestone/Baca.
• Created the Community Garden (Ascension Garden) which supports the local Food Bank
• Designed and built the Town Hall Greenhouse to grow food for Shut-in Seniors
• Hosted annual Crestone Garden Festival
• Formed a wholesale buyers club to share and store bulk food orders
• Worked with 125 local gardeners to share food with community
Water Action Group
Mission: To protect, love, preserve and consider as sacred the water resources we currently enjoy.
• Organized group tour of Baca Grande Water & Sanitation (BGW&S) District plants
• Encouraged Water Group member John Loll to join BGW&S Board of Directors
• Opposed RWR’s attempt to export SLV water to Douglas County with “Not One Drop” campaign
• Attended San Luis Valley Water Symposiums
• Hosted successful Art Auction Fundraiser for Teyuna Elders to address global water crisis
Governance Action Group
Mission: To research and facilitate responsive self-governance for the Baca and Crestone resident community
• Researched and assessed the viability of alternative governance models, considering future growth, resiliency, and our community values
• Engaged with POA on issues including strategic longterm planning and the POA’s quorum requirement
• Interviewed representatives of CO Dept of Local Affairs, Saguache County Board of Commissioners, and POA
• Designed and presented a neighborhood pod program, C.A.R.E: Community Action and Readiness for Emergency
• Founded the “Happiness Patrol” to provide compassionate community protection
Mission: To kindle and strengthen lively eco-awareness that connects to sacred nature, Source and Heart; all in support of Crestone/Baca’s community action for resilience.
Members of the Paradigm Shift group worked individually and collectively to strengthen the fabric of the community and the interconnections between people and all of life.
• Created and hosted Emergency Preparedness event
• Created and hosted “Giving Rights to Nature” event
• Hosted Teyuna visit with broad community involvement
• Hosted CBR Colorado College classes
• Hosted CBR social/team-building gatherings
• Contributed to music, dance, poetry, and visual arts events
Mission: To co-create a sustainable flourishing community by acquiring funding for action group resiliency projects.
• Awarded Saguache County grants for Community Garden, Community Greenhouse, and CBR Solarize
• Received generous private donations of support from individual community members
After almost 4 years, the majority of CBR Action Groups feel complete with their many contributions to our community. CBR’s original vision inspired us all, and progress toward that vision has made Crestone Baca more resilient and sustainable. For this we sincerely thank all who have participated.