The Arkansas Valley’s own Mike Bartolo, Colorado State University Southeast Colorado Campus near Rocky Ford, was honored by the Palmer Land Trust on Oct. 3. He was presented the award at the Antlers Hotel for being one of five of Colorado’s greatest conservation champions. The 2019 awards went to Pete McBride, Ranchlands, Mike Bartolo, Lyda Hill and Nancy Lewis.

Bartolo received the Innovation in Conservation Award in recognition of his long-time leadership in agricultural research and in the Colorado agriculture community as a whole. He is the Director of the CSU Arkansas Valley Research Center at Rocky Ford, where his work has produced new crop varieties and improvements to existing varieties. His work has helped farmers conserve water, boost yields and reduce pesticide usage.

Although snow is blanketing the Arkansas Valley all the way to La Junta, there is good news associated with this winter weather. Palmer Land Trust shared the news Thursday that the Decker Fire near Salida is 100 percent contained. In addition, the Monarch Mountain Ski Resort is opening on Nov. 1, the earliest they have opened since 1969, writes the Palmer Land Trust in Salida.

The Palmer Land Trust received a $96,000 Grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to mobilize the Pikes Peak community around a collective vision that prioritizes land conservation, tourism and outdoor recreation within the Pikes Peak region.