Where does all the water from the Dolores River go and who uses it?  Sixty students from the 5th grade class at Dolores Elementary got the answer to that question and more recently as they had a chance to visit MLC’s Fozzie’s Farm in Lewis, Colorado and learn about the importance of irrigation in Montezuma County and the surrounding area.

The students have been studying water resources in the classroom, doing research and creating projects to help them understand the various uses of the water in our area.  During their field trip they had a chance to get some hands on experience learning about irrigation on the farm.

Mike Preston, the General Manager at Dolores Water Conservancy District, was the at the farm and spoke to the students about the Dolores Project, McPhee Reservoir and the irrigation that’s provided to many farmers and ranchers as a result of the project. Larry Sharp from MVIC also visited and explained how water is measured and delivered to farmers to make their crops successful.

It wasn’t all talk though.  Jay Loschert, Outreach and Education coordinator at MLC, made it a very hands on experience as he got the students help in repairing some irrigation equipment by replacing damaged gated pipes and learning to fix the gates at Fozzie’s Farm.  Kids were laughing and enjoying themselves as they helped move irrigation gates around and watched how their work immediately provided results as water flowed through fixed pipe.

A sunny day at the farm, laughing about avoiding fresh cow patties and finding a crayfish in the pipes to pass around added to the fun. Being a part of repairing some of the equipment and learning how the irrigation system works gave students a much better understanding of just how important irrigation is to the farming and ranching families in our area.

Attachment to our landscape starts young.  Fozzie’s Farm is a place where MLC hopes to get students out on a regular basis to experience the outdoors, get some fresh air and partake in active projects with physical activity.  Since formal programming began on Fozzie’s just two months ago, over 150 students have already been out the farm representing over 420 hours of fresh air and sunny blue skies that students have enjoyed!  Want to help us cultivate the conservation champions of tomorrow?  Get involved by emailing jay at Jay@montezumaland.org.


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