Rural Voices

Rural Colorado is defined by its ingenuity, grit, and appreciation for community, but aside from these characteristics, each region of the state varies widely in character, access to resources, challenges, and opportunities.

Check out these articles written by those who live and work in rural Colorado. Want to stay informed on the issues and events happening throughout Colorado? Be sure you are signed up to receive the quarterly rural resources newsletter, the Rural Roundup.

Rural Voices: Rural Philanthropy Days Creates Success for Local Organizations

By: Susan Waring, 2018 SE RPD Steering Committee Member
As an administrative assistant at Las Animas Jr/Sr High School, I first got involved with Southeast Rural Philanthropy days when it was held in Trinidad in 2014. At that time my daughter was a junior high science teacher and was the sponsor of a community service group called “Pure Gold”. We took a group of 15 of our members to [RPD] where they developed a plan for a Rec Area located west of the school. Their plan consisted of new basketball courts, an outdoor classroom, a walking path, and a grass “soccer” field.

Community Spotlight: Addressing the Opioid Crisis in the San Luis Valley

By Andrea Swan, Program Manager, Rural Philanthropy Days
In November, Community Resource Center convened a group of nearly 100 individuals to discuss the impact of the opioid crisis in the San Luis Valley. A diverse group of stakeholders including regional and statewide nonprofit leaders, volunteers, foundations, government agencies, public servants, law enforcement, high school students and local businesses joined the conversation and began crafting collaborative solutions to this persistent and pervasive issue. The opioid crisis has gained national attention because it affects such diverse communities – young and old, urban and rural, across race and class. The impact of addiction has a far reaching ripple effect, where almost no one is left untouched.

Rural Voices: Reach Your Peak Pipeline

By Desiree Moore, Director of Community Education and Summer Programs, Colorado Northwestern Community College
For any of us that work in the business of changing lives positively, we have all had those moments when we understand that our efforts do make an impact. One of these moments, oddly enough, came while I was using social media after work. Scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, I came across a post by one of the youths I had recently come to know in our summer camp program. In her post, she stated, “I never knew college could be so much fun!” At that moment, it was evident that we were making an impact on the youth in our community.

Community Spotlight: The Truth About Southeast Colorado

By Andrea Swan, Program Manager, Rural Philanthropy Days
“Most people don’t think there is anything out here and don’t have any interest in visiting.”
“We really only get bad press out here and people often only highlight the things that are going wrong, rather than what’s going right.”
This message does nothing to lift the region up or highlight the amazing work of strong-willed leaders fiercely supporting their communities. It is time to flip the script and start telling the truth about Southeast Colorado.

Rural Voices: The Power of Community Support

Barbara Bynum, President of the Board of Directors, Montrose Recreation District
Montrose, CO is like many rural Colorado towns, so it should be of no surprise that voters rejected a plan to increase taxes in 2012. They were being asked for an increase in taxes to build a community recreation center at an unknown location in town. The letters to the editor of the Montrose Press were divided and contentious. Opponents were skeptical that a building could be constructed on budget. Fears of expensive fees and continual tax increases were raised. “What if nobody can afford to use it? What if nobody comes?” were constant criticisms of the project. But just five years later the newly opened Montrose Community Recreation Center is smashing expectations.

Community Spotlight: Seeking Buy-In and Local Voice in Limon

Leah Rausch Director of Rural Partnerships, Community Resource Center
Community: A word so thoroughly used in the nonprofit sector that it often fails to evoke a clear image or commonly held definition. Limon, Colorado – 100 miles east of Denver on I-70, is on the road to redefining their community. The town of 1,800 is a frequent stop for long-distance truckers and families on road trips, fittingly named the “Hub City” due to the convergence of several key transportation routes. For many of us outside the eastern plains, Limon evokes an image of looming truck stops and rows upon rows of wind turbines filling the horizon.

For more information, please contact:

Nellie Stagg, Associate Director of Rural Partnerships
303.623.1540 X170 or email hidden; JavaScript is required