Letter: Support local agricultural heritage
In the upcoming months, the future of Cozy Point Ranch will be decided through a request for proposals and lease bid process. For those who don’t know, Cozy Point Ranch is a 170-acre historic ranching property owned by the city of Aspen that sits neatly west of Highway 82 adjacent to the intersection at Brush Creek Road and under the canopy of air traffic through Sardy Field. This property currently hosts two extraordinary organizations boasting Aspen’s only public equestrian facility and Aspen’s only public farm-demonstration park. Truly a portal to Aspen and Snowmass we should all be proud of.
Aspen TREE, a nonprofit organization, has been operating this farm park since 2011. Its diverse programming is aimed at educating youth on ecologically driven food production and reconnecting us to where our food comes from. While only operating on a quarter of an acre, Aspen TREE has significantly impacted our community for the better. People I speak with across the valley are familiar with the public demonstration facilities of indoor and outdoor high-altitude agriculture, Earth Keepers Summer Camps and the free community meal hosted each year in November. Eden Vardy and his family of horticulturalists have created a true gem, an amenity that many communities throughout the country would envy.
Aligned with the vision of Monroe Summers, former leaseholder at Cozy Point Ranch, Aspen TREE would like to expand its agricultural production and programs in order to grow our valley’s agricultural heritage, future and literacy. Aspen TREE’s plan to host an incubation center and offer starter plots to beginning farmers, a tool share, a farm store and a commercial kitchen to turn harvests into value-added products would be a tremendous step forward for local agriculture. I would like to formally endorse Aspen TREE’s bid to expand operations at Cozy Point Ranch. I’d also like to encourage residents of the Roaring Fork Valley to visit http://aspen-tree.org, visit Cozy Point Ranch, learn more about its programs and support Aspen TREE’s vision for our valley.
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