Colorado Transition Network


Transition Manitou Springs


Transition Manitou Springs

The Transition Initiative for the City of Manitou Springs is forming. If you wish to join the initiating group or just want to stay informed please join.

Type Group: transition
Members: 27
Latest Activity: Nov 23, 2011

Transition Town Manitou Springs Upcoming Events: January - February 2009

Transition Town Manitou Springs Upcoming Events:


Transition Town Manitou Springs Monthly Movie Series: Generally the third Monday of every month at the Manitou Springs library, 6.30pm (Contact us if you want to set up a movie series for your organization.) Monday January 24, 2010 6.30pm Michael Ruppert's "Collapse".

"The Corporation Conversation and The Re-Localization Game",January 29, 2011, More Information


Permaculture / Transition Town Potluck, Sunday January 30, 2011 4.00pm to 8.00pm, 314 Crystal Hills Blvd, Manitou Springs, Co 80829Bring A Dish To Pass Around, Drinks will be provided!


"Permaculture Through The Seasons" Design Certification Course, begins in April 2011, More Information


'Presentation On Local Currencies", Manitou Springs, January 12, 2011, location tba, more information coming soon


"Solar Greenhouse Design Course" with Sandy Cruz, February 26 & 27, 2011, More Information


Manitou Yoga, general schedule: M, W: BAC 8am, Tu,Thur: City Hall 7am, Fri: at the park (behind City Hall) 4.30pm. Check Newsletter for changes or call M.Joy at 641-8325

Ongoing Discussions and Development

Film Shoot May 29 Needs Your Help 2 Replies

Started by Dave Gardner. Last reply by Dave Gardner May 25, 2011.

Comment Wall -- Quick Notes Only; Discussions for Dialogue


You need to be a member of Transition Manitou Springs to add comments!

Comment by Zia Parker on March 28, 2011 at 12:29pm
Please help save Willow Way Permaculture teaching & Herb Farm!



Willow Way Permaculture

Write a letter!

Come to the hearing and speak out!
Hello Commissioners, Let's find the solution within the problem. This is the Permaculture Way.

The hearing is on March 31 at the County Courthouse (14th St, Pearl St. Mall) Hearing room, 3rd Floor, at 9:00 am

These fine letters (below) written by
Paul Temple of the Double Rainbow Ranch

and Brigitte Mars

are good examples to follow in writing a letter.

Submit your letter to:
"Sanchez, Kimberly"




In the year since the Hearing, Willow Way has contributed to the community in many ways:

  •  teaching the Permaculture Design Certificate program

  •  being included in the Bioneers conference as a sustainable agriculture tour site

  • conducting a Natural Weed Control Study funded by CSU's agriculture department

  • starting Colorado’s only CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to specialize in medicinal and culinary herbs & herbal products
  • There are many people who have loved and contributed to this farm.



Paul Temple's letter

March 16, 2011

Dear Ms. Sanchez,

This letter is from Paul & Kerry Temple-Wood. We are neighbors to Zia Parker who lives at Willow Way Farm, 6481 N 63rd St, Longmont, CO 80503. We are writing regarding Zia’s upcoming annual review on the status of compliance for the Resolution 2010-19.

We do not know anything about the details of compliance. We try to keep our noses out of our neighbors business. We do enjoy having a neighbor engaged in clean healthy farming and education. We see Zia out working in her field quite regularly. This is agriculturally zoned land, so it is good that someone is using it to this purpose, and is also engaged in non-chemical, non-soil-depleting, ecologically beneficial farming activities.

We do not see any difference in traffic due to Zia’s programs and we are not bothered by farming or class activity. There is a nice sense of community one gets from seeing people working together on the land.

Given the state of our planet these days it seems the County should be supporting this type of agricultural activity as much as possible. Zia is a recognized leader in field and it is important she be able to share her unique knowledge. I am baffled by the onerous number of hoops Zia is required to jump through just to run a simple educational farm on agricultural land.

I understand a few of the neighbors are disgruntled, but it seems to me we all moved out to the country to get away from the “Home Owners Association” mentality – and I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. I know Zia is a person of vision and integrity and she is trying very diligently to be a good citizen and good neighbor, despite the obstacles being put in her way.

We wholeheartedly support an unconditional approval of Zia’s application,


Paul & Kerry Temple-Wood

Brigitte Mar's letter

Greetings Kimberly Sanchez,
I am writing this letter on behalf of the Willow Way Permaculture Center. I have known the founder, Zia Parker for over twenty five years. Willow Way is the kind of place that communities need more of to educate students and community members to be more ecological and caring stewards of the planet. People think nothing of wasting water, and spraying harmful chemicals to have uniform lawns, and yet it is time to rethink how our valuable resources are used. Providing local food and empowering others to sustainably care for a piece of land is what the future needs to be about. We have no choice. As a professor of Natural Medicine at Naropa University, a talk show host on KGNU radio, and the author of fifteen books on Natural Medicine and deep ecology, I see Willow Way as an asset that will better prepare our community for a healthier way that supports rather than damages land and will show others how to consciously create a plot of land that can feed and heal its inhabitants and surrounding neighbors.

Brigitte Mars
Herbalist, Author and University Professor

The County and the Two Bathroom Issue

For over a year, Zia was in dialogue with the County seeking permission to building one disability accessible bathroom rather than two--for the small studio at WW (600 sq. ft.)

Finally, after dozens of emails, phone calls and several meetings, it was decided that one ADA bathroom would be allowed.


This enormous drain of time and energy is only one example of the exhausting bureacratic complexity in this case.


We need laws that favor sustainability! We need laws that can be easily adapted to current needs!

Take a stand for the

right to teach and practice Permaculture at
Willow Way.

One of the Permaculture Principles is:LOOK FOR THE SOLUTION WITHIN THE PROBLEM
Let's use this Hearing as a Resource !
We can:

  • Influence local government to reform our local laws to support intensive farming on small farms (current codes impede small farms!


  • Increase public awareness of the need for intensive low-carbon growing methods & increasing local food production


  • Help remove code barriers which keep agriculturally zoned land from being used as fully as possible for intensive agricultural production


  • Encourage laws which promote growing food in all zones--including suburban and urban.

    Help our community upgrade local laws to support local food production.
    This is for all of us.


The Willow Way County Commissioner's Hearing:  The resolutions passed by the County a year ago are up for annual review for permission to continue teaching Permaculture and of provisional designation as Boulder County’s first  “Demonstration Farm.”

The County and the neighbors’  primary concern is overly intensive use and increased traffic.


Three neighbors are doing their best to shut down Willow Way with distorted stories about their perceived hardships from living next to a farm that uses only hand tools. Their idea of "overly intensive use" is having people come to work the land. Plus, we were given permission to teach the Permaculture Design Course, which is 14 days over the 8 month growing season. This means 14 days of having a maximum of 20 people next door to them--learning to grow food, build solar ovens and dehydrators, build ponds that purify themselves and related topics

We are asking the Commissioners to agree that this is a reasonable and appropriate use of agriculturally zoned land, and to approve our application without further provisional conditions.



Please write the County, encouraging them to weigh Willow Way's benefits to the larger community relative to something that is perceived to be an annoyance, but actually is not harming anyone.






The Willow Way of Farming

Willow Way is a no-till Permaculture farm. For the first few years,this requires more hand-labor, then less every year. Permaculture methods renew the fertility and with each subsequent year, can produce a higher yield of produce. Permaculture is an important contributor to  the local food security puzzle. Currently, Boulder County grows only 1-2% of the food consumed here. The remainder is trucked in--which is only one way that our food is dripping with oil. Of  the 2% that is produced locally, Permaculture methods offer some of the lowest petroleum-dependent food calories.


The Permaculture course curriculum includes the topics of renewable energy, ecological building, wise water use and sustainable community design.In it's sustainable agriculture methods, Permaculture does require people to be in direct hand-to-Earth-to mouth relationship with the land.  This is exactly why I have chosen to make it is so relevant. Broken  bonds with the land is the foundational source of our planetary triple crisis: Peak Oil, climate change and economic upheaval. None of these would be happening if the human family had maintained a balanced and respectful relationship with the land.

Boulder County & THE TRAFFIC ISSUE

Willow Way farm is on 63rd street, a mile North of Diagonal highway. It has become a busy commuter route. Across the road corporate giant IBM hosts parking lots for hundreds of cars that accommodate shifts 24/7. Within a 5 minute walk, Coot Lake bird preserve, has a steady traffic flow.

The commissioners determined in the public hearing that only 10 cars could be parked on the farm property at any time. They limited the size of the sustainability education program to 20 for the adult class, and 12 for the children’s program. These rulings were unnecessarily strict.

In the hearing last year, the Commissioners ruled for a stricter interpretation of the codes than suggested  by their departments and the engineered traffic study, which was required at Zia's cost, and which determined that the traffic impact of the proposal would be "negligible." The Commissioners overlooked the finding of their required study.


Permaculture is all for carpooling, but not for discriminatory bias against Permaculture farms.  Why isn’t IBM forced to carpool? Why impose such strict traffic and parking rules, when the area has other traffic usage that is comparatively off the scale? Parking at willing neighbors’ property is disallowed for any commercial event at Willow Way, as is parking at Watson Park, a five minute walk.


Local ordinances need to be more flexible and amenable to change! There needs to be easy avenues for changing the laws to favor sustainability. Often, local codes leave room for interpretation.  Whenever there is room for interpretation, the codes should be interpreted to favor sustainability.





Permaculture principles guide the design of systems for home, commerce and land that regenerate rather than deplete. The Permaculture Design Course is a 100-hour course that is taught in over 100 countries on sustainable design.  Willow Way’s next Permaculture Certificate Course begins next April. It is held two Sundays per month from April through October.  For more information



Free Boulder County Ecosystem Symposium: "Boulder Burns"

Saturday, April 9, 2011  9-4:30

University of Colorado Ramaley Auditorium

This is a day-long symposium focused on understanding our ecosystem better regarding fire prevention and mitigation.

Sponsored by Boulder County Nature Association, Boulder County Audubon, Boulder County Parks and Open Space, Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, Colorado Native Plant Society, and University of Colorado



Comment by Micah Perez on March 14, 2011 at 9:00am

Iwould love to come, however I am out of town from the 19th to the 25th :(...I was emailing back and forth with Brian and it seemed as though he was interested in setting up a meeting with the three of us...I gave him my schedule and info...Double check with him and make sure he didn't forget :D

I just read that Colorado Springs was ranked 99 out of 100 for the worst unemployment change in the nation Yikes...Check it out:

We could really use the boost of a local currency program...the sooner the better.

Comment by Becky Elder on March 10, 2011 at 1:33pm
I agree with you Micah!  Slow and steady wins the race.  We'll see how far it goes.  Manitou is up and going and willing to improve what they have, so we'll see what the future brings.  Manitou and Old Colo City both have small local bizes and little corporation activity which is what we are seeking as well. 
Just an FYI... Brian and I will be presenting an Intro to Permaculture at Harlan Wolfe Ranch through PP Urban Gardens on the 23rd at 6:30pm by donation... If you'd like to come, please do so!  Becky
Comment by Micah Perez on March 10, 2011 at 1:05pm

Hey becky thanks for your feedback...i do agree that it will not be politically expedient right now to change the name of the currency...however in the interest of obtaining future participation (I heard that there was interest in expanding to old Colorado city), I think that it would be a good Idea...There are lots of local businesses in Old Colorado city and in the rest of Colorado springs that would benefit from a local currency however, it would be very difficult to market Manitou Money to these people in the future if it retains its current name. 

I think that the local currency should be run by an independent nonprofit so as to avoid the pitfalls such as differences in governmental style that may exist...I am aware that MM is run by the Chamber Of commerce...if it is to be extended to other areas it should be run by a nonprofit (i.e. Berkshares) and be supported by local economic chambers (the chambers can disagree on every policy, but if they both decide to support the local currency then it will succeed) 

Comment by Jason F Walker on March 10, 2011 at 2:12am
we need a sustainable currency
Comment by Becky Elder on March 9, 2011 at 12:44pm
HI MIcah.  Love your ideas... but, living in Manitou for the past 27 years, I doubt that they would change their money name... they've been using it for years...  What would be good is exchanging the monies back and forth for the county?  Not sure, so don't get your hopes up. Manitou and Colorado Springs are fairly separate in philosophy and certainly in govt... Brian and I will be meeting with the Chamber soon about the Manitou money... we'll let them know of your existence.  I LOVE the El Paso Pound... has a lovely ring to it!  Good work!
Comment by Micah Perez on March 9, 2011 at 10:46am
Comment by Micah Perez on March 8, 2011 at 12:48pm

OK..good...I have tons of resources, materials, and plans, that I have been working on for  the Past year ... The Local Currency could be named "The El Paso Pound" instead of manitou money, in order to be inclusive of the rest of Colorado springs, however these is no need to rush things yet...And I do agree that the design of manitou money is somewhat Lame...I have some designs that I have been working on as well.


Brian/Rebbecca/Becky I will try to email you some info..OK a lot of info...Rebbecca, I do not have you if you want to take a look at the work I have been doing shoot me an email


Actually the article in the gazette informed me about the existence of a local currency initiative in my area...I was actually planning on starting from scratch( was consulting with people from Berkshares, The Lewes Pound, and some fine people up in Denver) ... and I thought I was alone as far as interest was thank heavens for CO Transition Net.

Comment by Brian Scott Fritz on March 8, 2011 at 10:19am
Micah/ Rebecca...  to stay up to date about what is going on with the Manitou local currency can email me you email address..I will put you on our emailing list for Transition town Manitou / Pikes peak permaculture....getting a local currency up and going is HUGE me if you want to be on our  Brian
Comment by Rebecca Hodge on March 8, 2011 at 9:31am
I'd be interested, Micah...I sure would like to know more about it too!

Members (26)


Facing challenges of peak oil, climate change and zero waste


  • Add Videos
  • View All


  • Add Photos
  • View All

Transition in Action

© 2015   Created by Michael Brownlee.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service