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LongView's Inaugural Watershed Clean Up Day Thumbnail

LongView's Inaugural Watershed Clean Up Day

Dear friends and clients,

We'd like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the 18 hardy LongView clients who joined our staff on May 3rd for the inaugural LongView Watershed Clean Up Day! It was a wonderful opportunity to welcome spring while making a positive impact on our local environment.

Together our team collected a total of 33 bags of trash along the 0.5-mile stretch of acequia that runs adjacent to the Acequia Trail from the red caboose at the South entrance of the Railyard Park to the Baca Street Arts District.

This event was made possible through collaboration with the Santa Fe Watershed Association as part of their annual Love Your Watershed Day. 

Amara May, Director of Stewardship and Outreach at SFWA set the tone with an insightful overview of the area, highlighting how community cleanup efforts contribute to a healthier Santa Fe River.

During her introduction we learned that the waterway running along the South edge of the Railyard Park where we worked is a section of the Acequia Madre (or “Mother Ditch.”) This ancient irrigation ditch, dating back to the year 1610 and the Spanish conquest of Santa Fe, runs approximately seven miles from the headgate on the Santa Fe River near East Alameda Street bridge, all the way across town past the New Mexico School of the Deaf and the Santa Fe Indian School, and onward to the historic village of Agua Fria. Many a passersby has delighted in its gurgling waters while enjoying a stroll through the city.

The acequias of New Mexico still employ centuries-old communal governance and irrigation practices, blending the traditional Pueblo ditch systems observed by the earliest Spanish settlers with techniques brought from Moorish Spain and handed down across generations. A living link to the past, they continue to be essential water sources for small farmers and cultivators, known as “parcientes” across the state. Though most of the parcientes of the Acequia Madre long ago exchanged their ditch water rights for access to Santa Fe city water, there remained 43 water rights holders on the acequia in 2017.

LongView's participation in the Love Your Watershed Day cleanup, along with our fiscal sponsorship of the section of the river near downtown Sandoval Street, reflects our appreciation and respect for this precious communal legacy.

While the cleanup day was filled with sunshine and gentle breezes, it also brought a sobering awareness of our community's challenges. The acequia was strewn with evidence of homelessness and addiction, underscoring the importance of supporting organizations like the Santa Fe Recovery Center’s Street Outreach Program and the St. Elizabeth Shelter.

We concluded our afternoon with a delightful picnic in the Railyard Park, where LongView staff, friends, and clients shared sandwiches and cookies under the shade of ponderosa trees. 

Thank you once again to everyone who participated and contributed to upholding the integrity of the arroyos, acequias, and drainages that are vital connectors to our beloved river.  In total, community members guided by SFWA collected 2,500 pounds of trash from the river and its waterways over the course of the Love Your Watershed Day!

If you’d like to learn more about the Santa Fe Watershed Association, please visit their website at https://santafewatershed.org/

We look forward to more collaborative efforts in the future as we work towards a cleaner, healthier community!

Warm regards, 

Your LongView Team