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Health and Safety Event Hosted in Town of Saguache

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

By Chris Canaly, SLVEC Director


The San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (SLVEC) participated in a Health and

Safety event sponsored by HEART (Health-Equity-Action-Resident-Team) of

Saguache/KV on Saturday, November 13 th , hosted by Saguache Emergency Services

(EMS) at their Firehouse. EMS gave a great presentation about fire safety, especially

around the holidays. It was an event packed with useful resources and valuable

education.


Presentations were provided by Saguache County Public Health, giving critical

information regarding CO-VID, status of cases in Saguache County (as of 12/03/21

there are 184 known CO-VID cases valleywide) and the Public Health Director Mona

Lovato, patiently answered questions, highlighting their outreach efforts to communities,

CO-VID mitigation and implementing their social and vaccine equity program.


Megan Strauss, of the Americorps Alpine Achievers Initiative (AAI), https://www.alpineachievers.org/, highlighted the youth programs that are available for

kids, K-12, focusing on the Mountain Valley School District, with a mission that inspires,

connects and nurtures youth, families and communities in rural Colorado. A goal of AAI

is increasing academic performance for rural youth and nurturing a passion for

conservation, adventure and enjoyment of the outdoors.


Terry Gillette, a veteran with the American Legion and Veterans Coalition of the

San Luis Valley, http://www.vcslv.info/ provided background on a host of programs,

especially for students, that both of these organizations have sponsored for a long time.

A specific focus is citizenship responsibility, http://www.vfw.org/community/youth-and-

education, and a community focus that “benefits education, the environment, health

sciences and civic projects.”


SLVEC presented on our ecological baseline inventories, specifically our projects

regarding in-door air https://www.slvec.org/indoor-air-quality-program and water quality

education https://www.slvec.org/water-quality. We also focused on the SLV Solid

Waste Management Diversion and Recycling Plan https://www.slvec.org/solid-waste-

management


These above environmental health concerns were prioritized for SLVEC by

community members throughout the San Luis Valley over a decade ago, who

committed to several meetings and shared their top three health concerns: impacts

to air and water quality, and illegal dumping. The nexus for us on illegal dumping was

public lands, especially since Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands bear the brunt

of illegal dumping.


We also had a chance to show off our SLV Sensitive Resources Map, which

highlights the sensitive ecological areas throughout the SLV and also indicates where

our electrical grid is in relation to sensitive resources and how the development of the

distribution grid can impact issues like renewable energy.


It was an attentive gathering, with lots of great questions and respectful

discussion. The organizers of HEART Saguache/KV were Stacey Amos Holden and

Laurie Vigil. HEART of Saguache/KV is funded by The Colorado Trust as part of their


community partnerships program. The goal of the community partnership program is to build

capacity within communities amongst those who are most affected by the issues to deal with root causes and create positive changes. https://www.heartofsaguachekv.org/

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Jul 31, 2023

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