2022 Annual Letter


Dear member of our beloved Santa Fe Watershed community,

Thanks to you, the Santa Fe Watershed Association is celebrating its 25 th anniversary!

In 1997 our local community inspired Paige Grant to put her ideas, expertise, and care into action and start the Santa Fe Watershed Association. Thanks to your steadfast support and her vision and determination, there have been some changes for the better in this past quartercentury. Instead of a dredged and paved channel through Agua Fria, the Santa Fe River supports native vegetation, wildlife species, improved groundwater recharge, and a beautiful place for folks to recreate. Urban reaches of the river and arroyos have hundreds of tons less trash and debris. Water once again flows through the downtown reaches of the river, creating a refuge for people and wildlife. Thousands of youth know more intimately where their water comes from and how they can help care for it… The list goes on!

The Santa Fe River is not only the physical lifeblood of Santa Fe, Agua Fria, La Cienega, La Cieneguilla, La Bajada, and the entire watershed from Lake Peak to the Pueblo of Cochiti, it is the literal and metaphorical force that connects us, teaches, and holds our shared past, present, and future together. It is the reason we are here, that we can continue to be here, and the reason you are reading this letter today. It holds in its banks the stories of Indigenous stewards, of Tano, Tewa, and Keres pueblos and sacred places, of acequias, homesteads, railroads, grazing and clearcutting, fire suppression, internment camps, impervious surfaces and storm drains, stolen lands, hopes and dreams, broken hearts, fierce and resilient beauty, and a powerful determination to heal. We are all responsible for taking part in this healing.

Everyday, we are inspired by you, our community, to collaborate with our partners, to work with our loyal and motivated volunteers to steward our waterways, to share the stories of the river in classrooms and on field trips, to build rain gardens, to plant native vegetation, and more. This all happens because of you.

Deepening our connection to, and care for, the Santa Fe River and its watershed are essential for community healing and thriving. This mission is both communal and deeply personal.

Our River, Our Water, Our Future For me, it is wrapped up in the very question of who I am, and who I want to be. I was three years old when SFWA was founded, and although it wasn’t for another two decades that I would become connected to the organization, I can look back with gratitude at all the ways I have benefited from its actions throughout my life. It is constantly humbling for me to remember that I am the “next generation” Paige started the organization for. That you, the entire SFWA community, have been working to support and benefit throughout its existence. You motivate and inspire me to carry forward this legacy and work alongside you to envision what comes next.

As we embark on visioning for the next 25 years, we welcome your feedback and continued involvement. Your input makes all of this possible. As does your financial support. Now, I am asking you to contribute to the next 25 years by making a gift today.

The SFWA has received a generous $10,000 gift that will match your donation dollar for dollar–doubling your impact! Please donate by December 31 st and help us reach our $25,000 goal.

The Santa Fe River is our most powerful storyteller and knowledge-holder. Thank you for adding your voice to our continued story.

With much gratitude and a shared commitment,

Morika Vorenberg Hensley
Executive Director

P.S. Donating to the Santa Fe Watershed Association is easy! Simply enclose your tax-deductible gift in the return envelope provided, make a gift online at santafewatershed.org, or scan the QR code on this page. Thank you for investing in our future.