Mission: The santa fe watershed association began in 1999 to protect the santa fe river and its watershed, and to restore the river as the heart of our community. The work of the santa fe watershed association is organized around the programs described part iii.
Programs: Restoration project: ojito de los arellanos is a large spring and wetland site found in connection with our site assessment of arroyos on the east side of dixon. This spring was formerly used for household watering by the arellanos and their neighbors in the village below, when good drinking water was at a premium. The treatments implemented help restore the natural hydrology of the site, filling in the gullies and raising the local water table.
adopt-the-river program 2013 marks the eleventh anniversary of adopt-the-river. The "adopt" program invites businesses and volunteer groups to care for the physical appearance of the river channel and corridor, and to serve as guardians of a particular river reach. The program is sponsored by both the city of santa fe and santa fe county, as well as through private businesses and individuals who "adopt" one of the 28 river reaches. The program also sponsored a "love your river day" (river clean-up) in february, a public clean up day.
outreach and education - through annual events, activities, and classroom programs, the watershed association helps our community become more aware of how the river interacts with the physical watershed (the land), the social watershed (all of us), and the biological watershed (animals and plants). In 2013, just over 1,000 public school 4th, 5th & 6th graders participated in the my water, my watershed program designed by our education staff. This seven hour program provides experiential, science-based curriculum that enables students to explore their watershed, learning about the complex relationships between living things and their environment. Students are taken into the upper watershed to see nichols reservoir, study macroinvertebrates in the river, learn the characteristics of a healthy forest, and visit an abandoned beaver lodge. Middle school students collect water samples twice a year to compare data with the water quality further downstream. We also held our summer programs, working with the city of santa fe summer youth programs. The day long field trips mirrored our curriculum taught during the school year. For many kids, this is the longest theyve been away from electronics and the first time theyre seen such a large body of water. Its also, often, the first time theyve been in a river.
The Santa Fe Watershed Association (SFWA) is active in three major areas: education, advocacy, and restoration around Santa Fe's river and watershed. SFWA is a clearinghouse in Santa Fe and NM for watershed issues and serves as an umbrella for Santa Fe's community in engaging our watershed. Most recently, SFWA played a key role in winning passage of a Living River Ordinance, which has made Santa Fe the first city in New Mexico to set aside water to keep the river flowing through our community. For the first time in my lifetime, the Santa Fe river is flowing. Thanks to SFWA for bringing together the community and helping to bring watershed management efforts to a higher level in NM.
The Santa Fe Watershed Association is a remarkable organization that is active in three major areas: education, advocacy, and restoration. Among other things, they lead hikes into the protected upper watershed area, teach students in Santa Fe's schools, lead workshops about adapting to climate change, organize tree plantings along the river, and run the successful Adopt-the-River program. Most recently, the Santa Fe Watershed Association played a key role in winning passage of a Living River Ordinance, which has made Santa Fe the first city in New Mexico to set aside water to keep the river flowing through our community.