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Volunteer Wildlife Habitat Restoration Day – Fall 2016

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On September, Saturday 17th, join us as we plant more native and drought-tolerant species along our hedgerows to support this wildlife and pollinator habitat! We will also be moving earth and mulch to make sure what we plant gets water and stays healthy.

Bring:
Water in a refillable bottle, good shoes, clothes that can get dirty, sunscreen and/or a hat, work gloves, and your favorite shovel with your name on it.

Location:
From the intersection of 4th and Solar (or Sadie’s Restaurant), head west on Solar for one mile. Immediately after you pass Alvarado Elementary turn south onto the drainage ditch and park along the fence. Walk across the bridge and you will be at the Community Garden.

Photo by R. Brad Howell

Seeking Board Members

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RGCF is actively seeking new board members to help carry out our mission. Please contact us today if you are interested in attending a board meeting to see if being on the board is right for you!

Rio Grande Community Farm Board Member Job Description

Mission: The mission of the Rio Grande Community Farm (RGCF) is to improve the health of our community through sustainable agriculture, fresh food, and education. We carry out our mission through our work in five strategic areas: demonstrating sustainable urban agriculture, growing food for and with our community, providing education and training opportunities in agriculture, enhancing urban wildlife habitat, and growing and celebrating the farming community.

Position: The Board will support the work of RGCF and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance. While day-to-day operations are led by RGCF’s Executive Director, the Board/Executive Director relationship is a partnership, and the appropriate involvement of the Board is both critical and expected. Specific Board Member responsibilities include:

Leadership, governance and oversight

  • Serving as a trusted advisor to the Executive Director as s/he develops and implements RGCF’s strategic plan
  • Reviewing agenda and supporting materials prior to the board and committee meetings
  • Approving RGCF’s annual budget, audit reports, and material business decisions; being informed of, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities
  • Contributing to an annual performance evaluation of the Executive Director
  • Assisting the Executive Director and President in identifying and recruiting other Board Members
  • Partnering with the Executive Director and other board members to ensure that board resolutions are carried out
  • Serving on committees or task forces and taking on special assignments
  • Representing RGCF to stakeholders; acting as an ambassador for the organization
  • Ensuring RGCF’s commitment to a diverse board and staff that reflects the communities RGCF serves

Fundraising

Board Members will consider RGCF a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts that reflect that priority. So that RGCF can credibly solicit contributions from foundations, organizations, and individuals, RGCF expects to have 100 percent of Board Members make an annual contribution that is commensurate with their capacity.

Board terms/participation

Board Members will serve a three-year term to be eligible for re-appointment for one additional term. Board meetings will be held monthly and committee meetings will be held as determined.

Qualifications

This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about RGCF’s mission. Selected Board Members will have achieved leadership stature in business, government, philanthropy, or the non-profit sector. His/her accomplishments will allow him/her to attract other well-qualified, high-performing Board Members. Ideal candidates will have savvy diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals.

Service on RGCF’s Board of Directors is without remuneration.

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Habitat Restoration Volunteer Day – Spring 2016

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Saturday, April 16th
9:30 am to 3:00 pm

Join us in bringing more biodiversity, habitat and shade to the community garden and Field 4 hedgerows. We received a significant and diverse donation of trees and perennials from Albuquerque Open Space and we’re excited to get them planted!

If you have gloves and a shovel or rake please bring them! Also make sure you bring water.

Where? 1260 Solar Rd NW Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107 From the intersection of 4th and Solar (or Sadie’s Restaurant), head west on Solar for one mile. Immediately after you pass Alvarado Elementary turn south onto the drainage ditch and park along the fence. Walk across the bridge and you will be at the Community Garden.

 

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Celebrating Pollinators at the 18th Annual Maize Maze

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The City of Albuquerque Open Space Division and Rio Grande Community Farm (RGCF) are proud to announce the 18th Annual Maize Maze—Celebrating Pollinators!  The eight-acre corn maze is located on the Los Poblanos Fields agricultural Open Space north of Montaño. This year’s maze design features many different pollinators: critical but threatened creatures that play a vital role in our food systems. In partnership with the ABQ BioPark, the Maze will feature activities, public art installments, and a scavenger hunt that will educate and inspire visitors about pollinators. “The City of Albuquerque is excited to once again host this unique event that serves to educate the public about local agriculture while offering an enjoyable and exciting maze experience,” said Mayor Richard Berry.

Aside from serving as an annual fund raiser for RGCF, a 501(c)3 Non-profit, the Maize Maze also fulfills a core part of the Farm’s mission: to provide habitat for wildlife. Each year, the Maze serves as both food and habitat for hundreds of migrating geese and cranes.  By popular demand, Blackout Theatre is bringing even more thrill to the fields with the third installment of Quarantine—an interactive performance that brings the audience into the story. Throughout October the undead will haunt the farm starting at dusk. Visit www.quarantineabq.com for more information.

WHEN: The 2015 Maize Maze will be open Saturdays and Sundays only, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the month of October.

HOW MUCH: Admission for the maze are $7/adults and $5/kids (3-12 years old). Kids 2 and under are free. Quarantine is $20/person (Ages 13 or older).

WHERE: Los Poblanos Fields is located in the heart of Albuquerque at 1701 Montano Road NW. Parking for the maze is 1.1 miles west of Fourth St NW. Turn north on Tierra Viva and park in the gravel lot to your left.

Lear More
https://www.facebook.com/DavidMartinezPhotography

3rd Annual 5K at the Farm

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Everyone knows about the annual Maze in Albuquerque, help us to continue a new tradition incorporating the Maze and a 5K fundraiser.

Come join us for a beautiful morning run/walk through the Los Poblanos Open Space and finish off your 5K through the Maize Maze for a wild end to the race. This course has almost zero elevation gain and should encourage the novice and keep the quick on their toes. Bring the kiddos for a fun 400 meter kids dash after the 5K (kids up to 12). There’s sure to be some balloon sightings as well along the Rio Grande valley.

All adult participants will receive a t-shirt and free Maze ticket. Top 3 adult runners will receive excellent prizes from local businesses. All kids dash participants will receive a free Maze ticket and the first 50 to register will receive a medal.

THERE WILL BE RACE DAY REGISTRATION AS WELL All proceeds benefit the Rio Grande Community Farm, a 501(c)3. We have lots of plants and programs growing at the farm this year and we would love to tell you all about them.

Race day Registration begins at 8, the 5K will start at 9 and Kids Dash is at 10.

Learn More & Sign-Up
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Habitat Restoration Volunteer Day

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Saturday, October 17th
9:30 am to 3:00 pm

Interested in planting milkweeds for assisting monarch migration? Curious about planting drought tolerant perennials? Love to learn about permaculture principles and landscaping?

Join us in bringing more biodiversity, habitat and shade to the community garden and Field 4 hedgerows. We received a significant and diverse donation of trees and perennials from Albuquerque Open Space and we’re excited to get them planted!

We’ll have a short morning introduction and talk by Sean Ludden our Executive Director and Farm Manager, and during lunch we’ll have other speakers discuss the importance and necessity in our desert climate to add more biodiversity and habitat to our valley, especially near fields and farmland.

For an hour volunteered with us you’ll receive a ticket for entrance to our Maize Maze so you can come enjoy it another day.

From Rio Grande cottonwoods, to buffalo berry and echinacea, we are adding to Field 4 like never before. Bring your friends and family to help bring more habitat, flowers and biodiversity to your community.

Parking is located near Alvarado Elementary, and along Nabor Rd. and Solar Rd. in the North Valley.

RSVP on Facebook!

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A New Season

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We have another busy year planned, with numerous workshops and tour opportunities, an expanded community garden to help grow your appreciation for local food, soil-building projects on the main field, and our Maze event in October. We would also like to welcome Sean Ludden as Farm Manager. New this year to RGCF, he will be organizing many of our community events and outreach, field planning and above all working towards making this truly a farm for our community.

About RGCF’s New Farm Manager

Sean Ludden is both Farm Manager at Rio Grande Community Farms, and owner, farmer for Nepantla Farms, which he operates, along with his wife in his scant spare time. From managing diverse organic farming acreages in the North Valley for 5 years, and growing medicinal herbs at home, Sean has many years of experience in the art of farming in aridlands. His philosophy on organic farming, heirloom seed preservation, and traditional farming methods have been featured in interviews with The Huffington Post, Santa Fe New Mexican, and New Mexico Magazine. Sean tirelessly promotes the use of traditional seeds and techniques in contemporary agriculture and helped to found Bosque Seed Collective last year to help local farmers renew the art of seed stewardship in the Middle Rio Grande Valley.

 

Winter Fundraiser – Art Auction

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Fields Forever by Todd Tibbals. This signed, original watercolor is 18×24 and painted on 140 lb. French-made Arches, rag paper.

For our winter fundraiser, we are auctioning a beautiful watercolor scene of the Los Poblanos Fields Open Space painted by local, nationally recognized artist Todd Tibbals. This unique art piece can be yours if you are the highest bidder. One of our donors has started the bidding at $1000.00! The auction will close at midnight on February 15, so get your bid in right away in the form below!

Now about the artist–Todd Tibbals was born in Columbus, Ohio, graduated from Miami University in Ohio and was tabbed for one of the first Peace Corps groups in 1962. Todd has combined four years of Peace Corps work in Peru and Ecuador, a Masters Degree in Latin American History and formal training at the Corcoran School of Art to emerge as a preeminent visual interpreter of the Latin American and Southwestern realities. For Todd, New Mexico, where he has painted and taught since 1970, represents a cultural halfway house between his Midwestern roots and his Latin American experiences. Todd has garnered many awards while exhibiting his watercolors, acrylics and drawings throughout the United States, Mexico and Italy. We are fortunate to have such an accomplished artist as a neighbor and supporter of Rio Grande Community Farm!

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2014 End of the Year Update

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GT_logo2013-final1-1024x85Greetings to Our Neighbors and Supporters,

We are sending this special letter on #GivingTuesday to update you on our progress throughout 2014, some of our plans for 2015, and ask you for your financial support of Rio Grande Community Farm (RGCF). Our dream is a community gem in Albuquerque’s Los Poblanos Open Space (LPOS) and we need your help. We have watched seasons change for 18 years as overseers of numerous LPOS fields, including the annual Maize Maze community event.

It is change that we embrace as RGCF builds into the civic steward of connection that is core to our mission. In partnership with the Albuquerque Open Space Division (OSD), we work hard to provide an agricultural and natural conservancy for the community to enjoy. In this mission we support the localization of food supply and education through our farming activities, managing a community garden, providing experience opportunities, and maintaining wildlife habitat for the continuous migration of birds and other animals.

RGCF survived a very lean 2013 and beginning of 2014. Through your support and the dedication of a small group of passionate individuals, we endured. Friends, RGCF is now ready to thrive. The bounty is a strong community amongst LPOS fields.

There is so much credit deserved to so many entities and people who have helped revive RGCF to its current state. Our OSD partners wore the hats of historians and hydrologists in order to secure a consistent irrigation supply for our produce, maze field, and wildlife crops. Their work also secured a full irrigation supply for LPOS in 2015. We promise to use this water wisely.

A few years ago, RGCF secured a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help purchase our hoop house in the field adjacent to Montano Road. In 2014, we produced vegetables for sale at La Montanita Coop stores, including a beautiful crop of okra and greens. In the sense of this community effort, most of the work done in the hoop house was provided by secondary grant entities and our very own volunteers. Thank you!

In 2014, RGCF built its dedicated board to a full complement of members and officers. This board is strong with highly skilled experiences and several community members living close to the fields. This board is quick as demonstrated by the very successful 5k run in October in which a new member organized from board nomination to race in a matter of weeks. From another board member, our 2014 Maze event was very successful and the very reason why RGCF is ready to thrive.

In 2014, RGCF contracted a Development Director focused solely on fundraising and grant writing. Funds secured from those activities have helped RGCF contract an interim farm manager to build the foundation of a community farm for the community to enjoy.

While we have made great progress in 2014, we look forward to 2015 and a continued effort to create our dream of an Albuquerque gem in LPOS. The opportunities are there to succeed as long as RGCF can sustain its development as a community resource. We continue to search for sustainable funding to contract a fulltime farm manager that can grow our fields through long-term hands-on experience. With your help, we know we can get there.

In 2015, we also will focus on our community garden program to be that place of serenity and sustenance that so many people seek. We are working on grants in order to provide row scholarships and educational training for everyone at every level of gardening experience.

RGCF is also working on a full educational program to not only provide the community with opportunities to learn, but provide the community with skilled beginning farmers that can be the next generation of local producers.

Our promise to you and all of our partners is a continued dedication to the RGCF mission with the goal of serving the Albuquerque community. We will never rest in this mission. It is our passion fueled by those who enjoy the wonderful LPOS field—be them locals or just flying through the area.

Please take a moment to make a donation for any amount, remembering that donations are tax-deductible. Donate Now

As a special gift to donors who give over $200, we will send you a beautiful, exclusive print from an original watercolor being painted by Todd Tibbals, nationally recognized watercolorist, RGCF neighbor and supporter. Watch for a picture of this beautiful piece on our website or Facebook.

Thank you for your support,
Marcia Ludden, President
& 2014 RGCF Board

Seeking Volunteers for the Fractal Maze

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RGCF Needs Your Help at the Annual Maize Maze

We are in need of several volunteers during the maze which will be open weekends in October. We officially open to the public on Oct. 3rd @ 3pm. Volunteer shifts are as follows:

Fridays: 2:30-6pm
Saturdays: 10:30-2:30pm & 2-6pm
Sundays: 10:30-2:30pm & 2-6pm

Volunteers will help with supervision and support for maze attendees to complete a (mostly) self-guided adobe-making activity which is a part of a land art project to build a giant Sierpinski triangle fractal out of adobes. We also need help keeping the pumpkin painting tables organized and supplied.

Perks
Volunteers will be showered with gratitude and will also be awarded tickets to the Maze (to come back with a friend!) and pie pumpkins.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, please reply to info@riograndefarm.org with your availability.

Thanks!

 

PS – Our partner organization, Blackout Theatre Company, is looking for ZOMBIES for their performance of Quarantine after dark. Please email: Barney@blackouttheatre.com for more information on volunteering in their production. They will also need nighttime assistance to keep the parking lot in order.