Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area 2021 Grant Cycle Opens April 1, 2020

Grants awarded from Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area (SdCNHA) are intended to encourage local cultural and historic heritage preservation activities, educational programs, and support Heritage Tourism within the heritage area. Our past grantees have used grant funds to restore historic buildings; provide historical and cultural interpretation; restore or promote scenic, artistic and recreational resources; and to document culturally significant components of the way of life in the heritage area. Heritage area grants are available to local schools, municipalities, and non-profits annually. Survey & Planning Activities Related to Conservation Efforts Projects  involve identification, recording, evaluation, designation, and planning for the protection of significant historic buildings, structures, sites, and districts.  This is not for the acquisition of property. Section 106 compliance/consultation of the National Historic Preservation Act may be required for this project type and should be considered for your planning efforts.  Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area can help with the completion of a Section 106 application. The following three projects received grants from the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area.


Rainbow Trout Ranch Conservation Project- The historic property is a guest ranch, which has been in operation for over 85 years. Located on the Conejos River, it encompasses 590 acres. Highly visible from Highway 17 (Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway) it provides substantial wildlife habitat. Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust worked with the owners to protect the land through a permanent conservation easement.

Acequia Conservation Pilot Project- Colorado Open Lands placed two conservation easements on farms in Costilla County, in order to protect important acequia water rights. The Rancho Dos Acequias is a 181-acre farm located on the historic San Luis People’s Ditch, the first adjudicated water right in Colorado.  The farm produces heirloom chicos and bolita beans, and provides habitat for the Southwest Willow Flycatcher. The Culebra Creek Ranch owned by the Lobato family traces its roots to the settlement of the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant. The Lobato Canon Farm is a 160-acre farm on the Culebra River; two-thirds of the property is prime soil and the remaining third is rich riparian habitat, home to the Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout.

Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers Stream Management Plan- The Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers support the ecological and human communities of the San Luis Valley.  Through the high mountain desert, these rivers provide water for agriculture, towns, recreation, and wildlife, making life in the SLV possible. While the SLV is home to diverse wetlands, wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, and cultural experiences, the rivers of the Basin face many environmental and water supply challenges.  In order to protect and restore the natural and cultural resources of the SLV, the current condition of these critical rivers and streams were first be documented.  The SMP process resulted in characterization of the physical condition of the Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers and the development of goals and methods to address environmental, recreational, and community needs facing each stream and watershed.


For more information on the efforts and mission of the SdCNHA, or to see more completed projects in our 10 Year Report, visit our website, We invite and encourage you to apply for our 2021 grant cycle! Special consideration will be given to grant applications with focus on outdoor recreation, land stewardship, and business development. Please contact us, if you have an idea for a grant or have any questions about the grant process at email us at, call us at (719) 580-7366 or visit our office located at 623 4th Street in Alamosa.


2021 GRANT CYCLE OPENS: April 1, 2020.