Ample, Clean Water for Colorado

On Colorado Gives Day and Every Day

“I have lived in Colorado for so long that I can remember hikes when I could kneel down and scoop water out of a stream and safely drink it from the cup of my hands. Today, at my home in the southwest of the state, I no longer can do that—even though there are less than a dozen homes between the creek where I live to its headwaters 20 miles away. And I recognize—nonetheless—that I am blessed. Because in parts of the geography the Sonoran Institute serves, the rivers are damp at best and dry at worst. I am proud to be part of the extraordinary mission of Sonoran Institute. I am glad to participate with all who work tirelessly to sustain and restore the waterways that nurture wildlife—and us—from the headwaters to the Gulf of California,” says David Baumgarten, a Sonoran Institute board member and resident of Gunnison, Colorado.

David and people all across Colorado know that clean water is vital to life in the West. They share an awareness of the challenges—from long-term drought, to growing cities. He sees the connection between his home at the headwaters of the Colorado River and all 40 million people who rely on the river’s water. His support makes our work possible: to help make Colorado Grow Water Smart by raising awareness, planning collectively, and developing leadership for a resilient future. More than 60% of Colorado residents live in a community assisted by our Growing Water Smart program. After the workshops, we have helped dozens of communities realize their goals by offering small grants and expertise to jumpstart their water resilience.

Throughout Sonoran Institute’s 30-year history, we have achieved conservation success in Colorado through many projects and spinning off new organizations. Though we are not new to Colorado, we are a little green in participating in Colorado Gives Day, an online, state-wide day to support non-profit initiatives benefitting millions of people and the environment.

Alpine Bank has generously agreed to match every Colorado Gives Day donation to Sonoran Institute. This means that every dollar you give will be doubled, for double the impact! With your support flowing rivers, healthy landscapes, and resilient communities can thrive.

Sun rising on Gunnison Mountain

Our incredible board members that call Colorado home share the reasons they support our work. Hear from a couple more of your neighbors:

Barbara Green, Denver:

“Colorado is beautiful, precious, and fragile. As growth and development in the Southwest continue to soar and drought conditions worsen, the gap between water supply planning and land use planning must be closed. The annual snowmelt in the mountains forms the headwaters of the Colorado River that nourishes and sustains the human and natural environment. Sonoran Institute provides invaluable tools to counties and towns through Growing Water Smart workshops that foster an integrated approach to land use planning and water resource management—crucial to the future of Colorado and the region.”

Lee Leachman, Fort Collins:

“Colorado’s rivers support people, animals, plants, and businesses across the western United States, but as the population continues to grow, this water source is under increasing and extreme pressure. As a member of the ranching community, I understand that thousands of farms have depended on these rivers for generations. Those farmers and ranchers utilize the spring runoff to irrigate crops from the plains to southern California. Before that, these rivers provided a life source for Indigenous people throughout the region. This vast resource has shaped our culture, our communities, and our economy.

The primary question is: ‘How will we balance the use of this water?’ If you live in this region, you should want a good solution to this growing problem. Sonoran Institute is helping communities answer that question well, and it is a cause that deserves all of our support.”

Donate Today

Support us on December 7 by making a donation on our Colorado Gives Day page. Thank you!

Blog post by Corinne Matesich, marketing communications manager.