Watershed PenPal Program

Roaring Fork Conservancy

2023 Innovative EE Program Award Recipient

Watershed PenPal Program

Roaring Fork Conservancy’s Watershed PenPal program unites students from Basalt, Colorado with students in Aurora, Colorado by reaching across the Continental Divide to create relationships through old fashioned letter writing and current technology. Aurora Water’s Environmental and Educational Outreach program helped forge a connection with the partner school in Aurora, Vista Peak Exploratory. The City of Aurora and the Roaring Fork Valley both utilize water from the headwaters of the Fryingpan River, making this a trans basin project and relationship. The Boustead Transmountain Diversion Tunnel delivers water from the headwaters of the Fryingpan to the City of Aurora. In today’s heightened need for water, we often face conflict and territorial battles. This program aims to create positive relationships through communication.

Through a series of shared classes, Google Slides, videos, and fun activities, students in both Aurora and Basalt learn about where their water comes from and why it’s important to value, conserve, and protect this life-giving resource. As a part of the program, students also get an opportunity to meet their pen pal through Google Meets. Roaring Fork Conservancy (RFC) launches the Watershed PenPal program in Aurora by traveling to the partnering school to meet the students and provide the first class that connects them to their headwaters and pen pals.

This project approaches water use by creating connections, teaching about water systems, and building positive relationships. Students learn that the only way forward is through understanding our earth’s natural systems, each other, and the knowledge that we are all water users.