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!

LCVA News – January 3, 2015

The agenda for Monday’s LCVA Board meeting is at the bottom of the News. The Board agenda includes special guest Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard who will discuss legislative issues and initiatives.

LCVA Community Breakfast

If you had attended today’s community breakfast, in addition to the great food and conversation, you would have heard a summary of the past year’s community events, happenings and accomplishments that included the following:

Sunrise Springs – It may not be open to the public but it is going to be a gem. Look for an Open House tour in late spring, employment opportunities to be posted March-April on Sunrise Springs website

La Bajada Ranch – Proposals for use for the 470 acre ranch have been submitted to the County. LCVA letter of support for Mancuso proposal follows the Board Meeting Agenda.

Halloween Festival – Very successful event with 270 in attendance, a great community led effort with a sincere thanks to our Friends at El Rancho de Las Golondrinas for their support and assistance.

We welcomed Dawn St. George as the new Museum Director for Las Golondrinas, an exciting new chapter in its history.

Horse Nation is bringing back equestrian events to the Downs including the possibility of Native American equestrian events thanks to resident Jasper Vassau.

We welcomed the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding to the community. What a great new addition.

On the agricultural front, Mevi Vineyards had a successful harvest, Green Tractor Farm had a banner year of abundant produce and has become a model of efficient, water-wise, small scale farming and New Mexico Algae Production has completed its 3,000 square research and development facility at Tres Rios , with plans to have product available for local distribution by late spring.

And we have a soon to open new community library with an array of books, computer stations, Internet access and a playground. See below for volunteer opportunities.

At the breakfast we gave thanks to residents: Bob DeYoung for his work on the LCVA web site and for making the community photo contest happen; to Susan Reid for her one person community cleanup crew; and to community friend Ellen Wittman for her tireless effort to bring a community clinic to La Cienega-La Cieneguilla.

On the horizon there is exciting news. There is the real possibility of our community working proactively and collaboratively with The Pueblo of Pojoaque in master planning The Downs. Look for detailed information soon on a Community Harvest Festival to be held on the infield at The Downs next September-October, a full day of food, fun, music and entertainment.

The Santa Fe River Traditional Communities Collaborative was successful in efforts to engage UNM’s School of Architecture and Planning’s Water Resources Program to work on developing a cultural landscape for the communities (Agua Fria, La Cieneguilla, El Canon, La Cienega and La Bajada) along the lower Santa Fe River Watershed to document their history and their relationship to land and water. It will include geological and environmental information and provide a true and clear picture for people, organizations and political entities unfamiliar to our area. This is important.

You could have joined the following residents who signed up for the:

LCVA Library Committee led by Linda Grill
Troy and Carolyn Kavanagh, Mary Dixon, Ellie Dickens, Susan Reid and Elaine Graves

LCVA Trails Committee
Mary Winter, Mary Dixon, Marc Mras, Paul Murray, Susan Reid and Carol Cooper

LCVA New Community Center Committee
Marc Mras, Susan Reid, Ellen Wittman, Bob DeYoung and Nancy Nieto

LCVA Development Advisory Committee
Elliot Eisner and possibly Emily Van Cleve

And you missed the opportunity to meet with the Community Clinic Committee who are working on engaging the Mexican immigrant population in our community in their efforts to bring a low-cost, no-cost health clinic to our community.

Now it’s your turn. The success of these community committees is dependent on residents being involved. Please consider serving your community by volunteering for one of these committees. Look for more details on the committees’ goals and activities after the January LCVA Board meeting.

La Cienega Valley Association Board Meeting
January 5, 2015 – 7:00 p.m., La Cienega Community Center
Preserving Our Rural Way of Life

Special Guest: Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard – Legislative Discussion

Call to Order
1. Approval of Agenda
2. Approval December Minutes
3. Matters from the Public
4. President’s Report
 a) The Downs
 b) Santa Fe River Traditional Communities Collaborative Update
 c) Organizing LCVA Committees
 d) Community Harvest Festival
 e) Annual Meeting, Board Election and Nominating Committee
 f) 2015 LCVA Meeting and Breakfast Schedule
5. Treasurer’s Report
6. Committee Reports
7. Newsletter Content
8. Matters from the Board
9. Adjournment

LCVA Letter to the La Bajada Ranch Steering Committee

La Cienega Valley Association
PO Box 23554
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
Preserving Our Rural Way of Life

December 19, 2014

Peter Weiss, Chair
La Bajada Ranch Steering Committee
Santa Fe County
102 Grant Avenue
Santa Fe, N.M. 87501

Re: Mancuso Proposal for La Bajada Ranch

Dear Mr. Weiss:

The La Cienega Valley Association Board (LCVA) has had the opportunity to review the proposal for La Bajada Ranch, presented by Frank Mancuso, through his agent Joe Cohen. To say we are impressed would an understatement. The proposal is innovative and progressive and at the same time it recognizes and respects the agricultural traditions of our community by offering both farming and grazing opportunities on this historic ranch property. As a community that is committed to sustainable farming and grazing methods these proposals are welcomed additions to those efforts.

Creating a trail system on the ranch would be well received by our residents. La Cienega and La Cieneguilla have no established trail systems and having access to trails for hiking and biking through this beautiful countryside could be the beginning of a trail system that would course throughout the entire village. The LCVA is aware of a neighboring ranch owner that has expressed an interest in allowing trails to cross his property which would open the door to connecting the trails to US Forest and BLM lands.

In regard to the community solar array, there are residents along Paseo, C’de Baca which borders the property, who have already expressed an interest in connecting to this type of alternative source of energy. To reiterate a previous point, as a community committed to sustainability, a solar farm providing electricity to neighboring residents could be a small but important step toward the possibility of creating our own supplemental energy system for both La Cienega and La Cieneguilla.

Two things that really stand in the Mancuso proposal are the educational outreach and the focus on open space. That the ranch could be developed into a regional educational center, available to people interested in an array of topics related to the ranch and area, from our agricultural traditions to the significant archaeological sites to water and land conversation and other important topics and issues is a concept our community would openly encourage and embrace. We have residents who, without prompting, have expressed their willingness to serve as volunteers on any level needed. We will encourage Mr. Mancuso to consider bringing in El Rancho de las Golondrinas into the picture to be actively involved in the planning process for the educational center.

The possibility of using the location as site for amateur astronomers to explore the night sky is an indication of forward and creative thinking. What a great idea. The value of the proposal’s focus on open space and maintaining the viewscape of the gateway to Santa Fe is something that cannot be overstated and has been a driving force for the LCVA’s efforts to preserve and protect the property over the last ten years.

The LCVA enthusiastically endorses Mr. Mancuso’s proposal and anticipate sharing it with our entire community. As proposed this would be an incredible addition to our community and we, as a community, will openly campaign for its approval.


Carl Dickens, President
La Cienega Valley Association