Be the Change | 5Point Adventure Film Festival

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MIRASOL, Looking at the Sun, Palmer Land Conervancy’s new groundbreaking film, was an official selection at the 5Point Adventure Film Festival this past weekend and screened to over three hundred people during their Changemakers event. Kristie Nackord, Palmer's vice president of external affairs and the producer of MIRASOL, graciously shared her heartwarming experience of the Changemakers event with us.  

Following the screening of MIRASOL, professional rock climber, Patagonia Ambassador, and all-around amazing human Timmy O’Neill moderated an on-stage Q&A discussion with filmmaker Ben Knight, Suzanne Stephens of Aspen Valley Land Trust, local rancher and former CCALT board member Bill Fales, and myself. Each panel member spoke to the challenges facing agricultural producers and communities, our inherent connection to nature, and what actions we can take to effect change. 

Why Not Now?

During the discussion, Timmy O’Neill asked me, “Why now? Why MIRASOL now?” My response? Why NOT now? What are we waiting for? How much land, water, culture, and tradition do we need to sacrifice before we come together to take action?

While MIRASOL shines a spotlight on Pueblo, these same issues face rural communities across our state. The recent agricultural census revealed that Garfield County, the next county over from where Carbondale and 5Point film festival are located, has lost 18% of its productive agricultural lands in the last five years alone. Mirasol is Colorado’s story.

On-Stage Highlight 

When Timmy asked me to introduce myself, I shared my official title, but I mentioned that the title my daughter Norah gave me, who was in the audience watching, was much more accurate. Norah says my job is “I love the land, and I take care of the water.” Timmy then said, “Let’s give it UP for Norah!” And the entire crowd erupted in cheer for Norah. 

When I sat back in my seat after the discussion, tears streamed down my five-year-old daughter Norah’s face. She said, “Mama, that was beautiful. I am joy-ed.” This was not only a highlight of the film screening, but a moment I will never forget.

Reflection on the Importance of Conservation 

On long days, when I think about why I do this work and why I spend countless hours finding ways to ignite a culture shift for conservation where more people are mobilized and willing to take action on behalf of the land, water, and our community, I think about Norah. I think about the entire next generation. My relentless pursuit and motivation is my love for my daughter—and this earth.

Palmer’s intention with MIRASOL and our campaign is to ensure as many people see this film as possible to raise awareness for the hardworking farming families, and farmland and water conservation. We want to gently remind people about the beautiful gifts of land, love, tradition, and family right under our feet—and within our homes and communities. MIRASOL also poignantly shows us what is at stake and asks if you had a chance to do something, would you? My answer—and my actions—are a resounding yes.

I hope you will consider joining Norah and me during this critical time for conservation. There are four meaningful ways you can Be the Change, as Timmy said during 5Point, and protect farmland. 

4 Ways to Protect Farmland

Here is a short clip where I shared with festival attendees what they (and you!) could do today.