THE week before Christmas will have the chill of December but will be otherwise mild and calm. We hope you find time to slow down and enjoy the spirit of the season. Busy elves at The Citizen are preparing holiday stories and podcasts to share. Six days of shopping left and six items get your week started, including the newest innovative way Valley water managers are working to address the drying of the Rio Grande. Read on:

Cooper the Weather Dog. He is cute and loves tummy rubs. Also: he loves to play in the snow.

sun rises behind a mountain

1. A new tool to save the Rio Grande

So how do you put groundwater that is part of private land in a conservation easement and protect it from ever being pumped again – whether it’s by a farmer or a private developer? That’s the question we had after sitting through meetings and hearing about a groundwater conservation easement strategy at the Rio Grande Water Conservation District. It’s a new way water managers have figured out how to help save the Rio Grande. The dry December reminds us why strategies like this are necessary. Here’s the full story.

2.The inevitable four-day school week in Alamosa

It’s coming and other school districts who’ve gone through it say you just have to work through the kinks. We’re talking about the growing momentum and likelihood of a four-day school week for the Alamosa School District, by far the largest in the San Luis Valley. Employers will have to come to grips with it, too, as issues like daycare and a change to the hours of the school day begin to seep into the workplace. We take a look ahead to January when the Alamosa Board of Education is expected to vote on the change, and outline steps the school district will have to take. Put this post on your weekly reading list.


3. ON THE VALLEY POD: Superintendent Diana Jones and Assistant Superintendent Luis Murillo

As part of our effort to understand the road ahead for Alamosa schools, we sat down with Alamosa Superintendent Diana Jones and Assistant Superintendent Luis Murillo and taped this episode of the Valley Pod. The topic of the four-day school week is one we’ll continue to focus on in 2023.

old-fashioned newspaper front page mockup with child's drawing of Santa

4. Kids and Santa

In the week ahead we get answers from Santa to the questions kids ask him in a special Christmas Eve edition of the Creative Citizen. We also asked the intrepid students at Alamosa Elementary to dig a bit more into Santa’s background and tell us what they found. It’s all part of the fun we have this week on as we look to bring some holiday cheer.

5.  The Valley’s holiday parades

The Del Norte Parade of Lights on Friday, Alamosa on Saturday. Everywhere you turn in the San Luis Valley there are great community holiday celebrations, and we love it. It’s why we created The Valley Calendar – to help see all the events in one place. Here are some parade photos from the weekend.


6. Rio Frio Ice Fest

If January is around the corner, then so is the annual Rio Frio Ice Fest. The 2023 event is Jan. 27-29 and takes on a ’90s theme for the party side of things. We’ll help you stay up-to-date in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, here’s where to register.


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