The Crestone Eagle • November, 2021

Free Box update—Bit by bit it’s getting there & it’s going to be great

by Lisa Bodey, 

Crestone Energy Exchange

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reopening the Crestone Free Box is proving to be a lesson in patience.  We know many of you are ready to trade and manifest treasures but by taking action in the right timing we will have a more sustainable and smooth community resource up and running soon.  The Crestone Energy Exchange (CEX) is leading this project as a partnership with Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Crestone Creative Trade and the Crestone Energy Fair.

For those who have been following our progress you will know we started this effort with a survey of the community which was overwhelmingly in favor of the reopening.  Next, we secured the support of the Town of Crestone Board of Trustees who have offered to pay the monthly dumpster fees.  They also donated $1200 which was spent on construction materials and supplies to clean, prime and paint the Free Box, add additional shelving units, modify some of the layout and purchase high quality MDO for the mural.  Thank you to Matthew Clark who has taken the lead on this part of the project and also built new shoe racks and two beautiful new bulletin boards for the space.  In addition, Joshua James is helping us to install a basic bike maintenance area so flat tires and other minor repairs can be made at the Free Box for travellers on wheels.  

Many meetings have been held to prepare for liability insurance, cleaning, safety, maintenance and coordination of the overall project.  We acknowledge that there have been many delays, from waiting on construction on the building next door to raising the money for insurance.  Thank you to Elisabeth DeMarais who came through with a generous donation that will cover our initial insurance costs. However, the current obstacle is actually obtaining the correct liability insurance policy.  The CEX will be leasing a small portion of Crestone Creative Trade private property and providing open community access.  While we think we have found the right insurance provider we still have been waiting for over a month for their underwriter to write and approve a policy.  So, we remain patient.  

Plans are in place to create a beautiful new mural for the outside of the structure.  If you are an artist or painter, please consider joining us for this phase of the project which will begin this month.  We also want to display values that guide our community on how to utilize this free service with respect and integrity.  Think of this as an “Empowered Exchange” area and what you give is a reflection of how you take care of yourself and others in our community.  Our intention is to create a monthly rotating schedule where organizations, businesses or groups of friends can “Adopt A Month” of the Free Box.  This rotates the leadership and truly makes it the responsibility of the entire community to keep this open, clean and beautiful.  

If you would like to support our efforts or join our email list for updates, please send a message to crestoneenergyexchange@gmail.com stating your interest, like our Facebook page, or visit our website www.crestoneenergyexchange.org.  We want to thank the community for all of your support and patience.  Oh yeah . . . and good things come to those who wait!