It pays to dream big! When we dream together and join forces, we make those dreams come true.
As we reflect on our journey together over the past 10 years, we are grateful for the vision of our founders. They believed that the work of creating thriving communities is in our hands and that sharing is at the heart of every beloved community. “When everyone shares, no one goes without” is more than a motto at Pine River Shares (PRS). It’s become a way of life and a road map to a thriving, more equitable, Pine River Valley (PRV).
Check out what we’ve accomplished together in 2022!
Food Support Programs: As Pine River Valley residents continue to struggle to make ends meet, we’ve seen unprecedented numbers of residents participate in our numerous food support programs. Over 3,000 residents per month participated in a PRS food support program. These include weekly backpack projects in Bayfield and Ignacio schools and pre-schools, weekly Food Shares, and monthly mobile pantries. Pop-up pantries were offered throughout the summer in Vallecito, Forest Lakes, Ignacio, Allison and Sam Brito, to help families defray the high costs of fuel.
Field to Fork: The Field to Fork Project plan developed by community members to increase heathy food production and rebuild our food system continues to guide our long-term food security efforts. PRS gave out 110 heritage apple trees to neighbors to plant at home. This fall volunteer gleaners collected over one ton of local apples to share at the Fourth Annual Bayfield Area Community Harvest.
In addition, PRS volunteers generated 1,000 pounds of fresh produce from the PRS garden and grow dome that was shared with food insecure community members. A new Garden Share project provided opportunities for home gardeners to share free produce with neighbors in need. All the while PRS continues to invest funds in meat, eggs, and fresh vegetables grown by our local farmers and producers.
Thrive in Place Project: Thirty Thrive in Place (TIP) peer advocates living in communities throughout the Valley provided information, resources and support to dozens of vulnerable residents who are aging in place. In 2022 TIP advocates hosted the annual 01′ Timers Picnic, created a Resource and Referral Guide for seniors and hosted a community workshop on trauma-informed responses.
Youth Engagement: Over half of the PRS volunteer workforce is comprised of teens and young people. Local youth, including 4H club members, kids attending Bayfield and Ignacio schools, Wolverine Academy students, and others who find us on their own, are a dynamic and driving force behind our work. Young volunteers pack backpacks of food, help unload delivery trucks, conduct food drives, and harvest food from the garden. Most importantly, PRV young people shape the work we do as we listen to them speak about their community and lives.
The Future Looks Bright at Pine River Shares: We were selected by our County Commissioners to receive funding allocated by the American Rescue Act Plan (ARPA). Funds will be used to purchase food system infrastructure identified in the valley-wide Field to Fork Project (F2F). A key theme of the F2F Plan is to increase homestead and community food production, and to establish community and commercial kitchens equipped for food preparation, storage and preservation. The plan seeks to revive agricultural practices in the Valley where there was once a vibrant food system.
How is all this possible? We depend on a team of over 80 dedicated volunteers working together throughout the Valley, contributing over 8,000 hours annually helping friends and neighbors thrive. That’s how everything is possible. We invite you to dream with us and to dream big. When we pool our unique skills, talents, and expertise our dream of a thriving Pine River Valley doesn’t seem so far away.
The Annual Food, Friends, and Fund Drive is back! Please join us. Everyone has something to offer.
- Organize a food drive within your circle of friends and colleagues.
- Join our Community Leadership team every Wednesday at 9:30. Call 970-884-6040 to find out about volunteer opportunities.
- Make a cash donation and watch your dollars grow. Every dollar you give circulates through our community. Our local benefactor has once again offered to match ALL cash donations until Dec. 31. All donations will be doubled! Don’t delay, donate today.
To say that our founders are humbled by your generosity is an understatement. This is the stuff dreams are made of. We are the stuff dreams are made of.
Donate online at www.coloradogives.org/story/Pinerivershares
Mail a check to: PO Box 993, Bayfield CO 81122
Please make your check out to: Community Foundation Serving SW CO with Pine River Shares in the memo
Stay in the know. Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PineRiverShares.