La Cienega Valley Association

Protecting and preserving our acequia culture and agricultural traditions…

 Entries are closed for the 2nd Annual Photo Contest 
Click/Tap Here on October 20 to see Finalists and vote for Community Choice!

Las Noticias Newsletter – July 2014

Las NoticiasAnnouncing The LC² (La Cienega and La Cieneguilla) Photo Contest!

On July 1 through July 31, LCVA’s website ( will be taking submissions for the first LC² photo contest, a new annual event. Finalists will be announced at the website on August 11 and winners will be announced at the community breakfast on September 6. Contest categories include:

  • LC² Experience: Events, objects and activities connecting residents to our history, tell what it means to be a resident and provide a sense of what it is like to live in LC².
  • LC² Living Off The Land: Events and activities associated with LC² acequia, farming and ranching traditions.
  • LC² Natural World: Animals, plants, landscapes, geological, climatological features or scientific processes and endeavors within LC².
  • LC² People: Individuals from all walks of life within LC².
  • LC² Altered Images: Photographs within LC² manipulated for artistic purposes by applying digital and/or traditional special effects (i.e. colorizing, toning, collage, photo composites, panoramas, HDR, etc.).
  • LC² Community Choice: Based on web site votes received from August 11 through September 4 for five finalists selected in each of the above categories.

Go to for rules, prizes and more information. While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up to receive LCVA News by email and use the link to Facebook to check out and like our Facebook page at!

La Cienega Community Library

The LCVA is excited to report that renovations of the Community Center to create the La Cienega Community Library have begun with an expected completion of this fall. The renovation work includes improvements to the County Fire Department’s space in the building, bringing the entire building up to code as well as adding the central library room.

LCVA Board Member Linda Grill, who heads up the Library Committee, has been meeting with County representatives on a regular basis for construction updates and in an attempt to keep the construction project on schedule. The process has created some community disappointments, the latest of which was when Linda was told the funding would not include the construction of a playground. This is a serious concern and Linda and the Library Committee are exploring ways to secure the playground funding including requesting a legislative appropriation.

The LCVA would like to remind residents that the Community Library will provide a range of volunteer opportunities for residents. The library will not be staffed by County personnel so it will depend on people like you to make it functional. Please look forward to details on how volunteers can contribute to the success of the library and please consider a financial contribution to support library operations. Contributions can be mailed to the LCVA, PO Box 23554, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502. The LCVA thanks you.

LCVA Communication

The LCVA is committed to providing updated news and information on community issues and concerns to La Cienega and La Cieneguilla residents. The newsletter you are reading is one form of that communication but problems with cost and delivery of the newsletter has resulted in the LCVA deciding to only mail the newsletter on a periodic non-regular basis. The LCVA community e-mails that go out to approximately 250 homes is another important form of community communication and LCVA meetings that are always open to residents provide another opportunity for residents to learn about what is going on in the community.

Now, the simplest and best way to get all the community news is through the LCVA web site – Please check it out and sign up for LCVA News by email. You can also get LCVA News by liking our Facebook page at The LCVA would like to thank resident Bob De Young sincerely for his continuing work in updating and maintaining the LCVA web site.

Santa Fe County Code and Zoning Map

The Santa Fe County Commission has decided to delay the implementation of the new County Code and Zoning Map until December of this year. The Commission’s decision was based on the Commissioners’ interest in gathering more information on residents’ concerns regarding the proposed zoning. As a result the County Commission will be holding special Commission meeting throughout Santa Fe County to encourage resident input and comment.

The LCVA is hoping to have one of the special County Commission meetings held in our community. As one of the fastest growing parts of Santa Fe County the LCVA feels it is important that the County Commissioners hear directly from La Cienega-La Cieneguilla residents.

The LCVA continues to maintain and will express our sustained interest to the Commission regarding the work of the La Cienega La Cieneguilla Planning Committee. The Committee spent over two years of comprehensive and hard work updating our community plan and in the process developed proposed zoning for our area. So far the County has ignored the work of the Committee. The LCVA fully supports the process the La Cienega La Cieneguilla Committee had established for resident input on the proposed zoning which would include at least two community meetings for resident feedback and comment on the proposed zoning.

El Rancho de las Golondrinas

The LCVA is once again pleased to announce that our friends at El Rancho de las Golondrinas have made their Summer Festival on August 2 and 3 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) available free of charge to La Cienega and La Cieneguilla residents. This year’s Summer Festival includes “Territorial Law and Order” where you can meet the lawman, desperados and mountain men of the Wild West and both days will have Peruvian Paso horse shows.

Just present a copy of the newsletter to experience one of the most beautiful living museums in the United States and a true community treasure. If you happen to misplace the newsletter just check out the LCVA web site ( for an alternate way to get your free passes to the Summer Festival that will be available soon.

In addition the museum has agreed to host special Growers’ Markets at El Rancho de las Golondrinas on Sunday, August 31 at the Fiesta de los Ninos weekend and on Sunday, October 5 at the Harvest Festival. In addition to offering great local produce these markets will be designed to celebrate the agricultural history and traditions of the valley. Please look forward to additional information on these events which may include a community based harvest festival in the fall.

Water Issues

As New Mexico enters its fifth year of drought the LCVA wants to remind residents to be careful with your water usage. All residents need to understand the ongoing threats to our water sources and the future of our springs and streams. Please do everything you can to conserve water and don’t waste it. Be careful when watering your landscapes, flowers and trees and over time consider drip irrigation systems and planting drought resistant plants and xeriscaping to minimize your water usage. Don’t let the water run when brushing your teeth or shaving. When washing clothes make sure you have a full load to maximize your efficient use of water.

New Mexico ranks in the top ten states with the worst drought conditions and it is only by working together that La Cienega and La Cieneguilla residents can make a difference in protecting and preserving the waters that flow through our valley and the historic, centuries old traditions they support.

The Flea at the Downs – Changing with the Times

It doesn’t seem possible that we are beginning our 5th summer season on the Santa Fe Downs but as they say – “time flies when you’re having fun,” which is what the Santa Fe Flea is all about.

The very idea of local community “markets,” is an idea older than many of civilization’s oldest institutions. Markets have, since pre-history, been a place where growers, artisans, and traveling merchants from the region gathered weekly, not just to sell and exchange wares, but to share stories about goings-on around the territory, to see old friends, and to make new ones. And markets, whether in Asia, the Middle East, the ancient America’s or Western Europe have always been a source of entertainment and enjoyment and a bit of an escape from the routine.

This year’s Flea is recycling more functional stuff, like solid used outdoor furniture, tools and garden implements, and usable, quality indoor furniture and fittings than ever before, which means it’s becoming more the market we need, and more the kind of market that actually serves our community.

Today, The Flea is an easier place to sell than ever before. You can set up for a day, under-cover in a 10’x30′ space on the market’s busiest lane for just $15, and as a La Cienega resident, you can set up for free on the last weekend of every month – and get a free coffee, water or ice cream! Or, if you want to be a regular, you can create 10’x10′ mini-shop in a permanent tent for just $35 a weekend and leave your setup from week to week.

We’re open Saturdays and Sundays from 8-3 and we hope that as the weeks pass, more and more La Cienega folks will sell and buy at the Flea – and that when the crops come in – La Cienega growers will take advantage of Free Sunday Growers spaces, at the Flea.

La Cienega Studio Tour

It’s time to start planning for this year’s La Cienega Studio Tour, the longest running studio tour in New Mexico. To increase attendance The Tour is considering expanding to communities near La Cienega like Rancho Viejo and changing the date of the Studio Tour to early October to capitalize on the Balloon Fiesta visitors coming to Santa Fe between launch events.

If you are an artist and would like to be included in the tour, please contact Paul Murray at [email protected]. I welcome your ideas and input on the possible changes to the tour but want to assure everyone no decisions have been made yet. The tour needs about 20 participants to cover the cost of necessary advertising and printing.

Next year The Tour is applying for a grant to help pay for marketing materials and to reduce the cost of participation for individual artists. The La Cienega Tour is unlike many studio tours located in incorporated towns or villages that have local resources and established commercial support.

Fourth of July Community Breakfast

Please join us on July 5 for the LCVA’s Fourth Annual 4th of July “Red, White and Blue” community breakfast, 9-11 a.m. at the La Cienega Community Center. It is blueberry pancakes, strawberry sauce and whipped cream plus great conversation with the last 30 minutes set aside for sharing community stories. Please join us for the good food and fascinating stories of the valley. The breakfast is free but the LCVA will be happy to accept donations to cover the cost of the breakfast. Any excess donations will be used to fund LCVA functions and projects including the newsletter and the Community Library.

Short Notes
The LCVA has received news that the remaining approximately 900 acres of the original non-County owned Santa Fe Canyon Ranch development is under contract to a single family who have indicated a strong interest in maintaining the property as a ranch. The LCVA will keep residents posted.

The LCVA welcomes the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding as a new member of our community. Please check out the Center’s web site at for more information and details regarding the outstanding services they provide.

Thanks to resident Jasper Vassau, horses are returning to the Downs. Jasper has helped found Horse Nation a group dedicated to promoting equestrian activities at the Down with a number of horse shows and activities already planned. If you are a horse person or simply like to watch these beautiful animals and riders in action, Horse Nation’s web site will provide details on this year’s combined training event, “The Event at Santa Fe” August 15-17.