GOCO grant will fund Manaugh school garden in Cortez

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Great Outdoors Colorado awarded $340,000 to projects in Montezuma and La Plata counties last week.

The Southwest Conservation Corps got a $25,200 Youth Corps grant for the Montezuma School to Farm Project at Manaugh Elementary in Cortez, according to a news release from the agency issued earlier this month.

A portion of the grant will pay teenagers to build a school garden at Manaugh Elementary School in Cortez this summer, Montezuma School to Farm director Zoë Nelsen said Monday. Workers will be paid about $250 per week for full-time work. “Manaugh is really looking forward to having the garden program there, so they can integrate it into their curriculum,” Nelsen said.

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Montezuma School to Farm received a similar grant last year, which went toward labor costs to rehab the outdoor lab and build a garden at Mesa Elementary School.

Cortez Middle School also has a garden. Montezuma School to Farm has done work at Children’s Kiva Montessori and Southwest Open School, but does not have permanent garden infrastructure at either of those schools, Nelsen said.

There are no immediate plans for additional school gardens. Nelsen said there’s a chance that School to Farm would like to partner with the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project to build orchards at Lewis-Arriola and Pleasant View schools.

GOCO also awarded two grants to the Montezuma Land Conservancy – a $264,560 grant to conserve The Nature Center at Butler Corner north of Dolores and a $50,000 transaction costs grant for the Schultz Elk and Cattle Ranch east of Mancos.


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