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(Registration Closed) Land Health and History: Workshop with Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute

May 20 @ 9:00 am - May 21 @ 1:00 pm

REGISTRATION CLOSED – Reached Capacity. Sorry for the inconvenience
Erosion Control, Land Health and Indigenous History in New Mexico

Join us for 1.5 days of learning out on the land in beautiful Abiquiu, NM. We’ll do a land walk to observe the ecosystem, look for signs of degradation and land health, learn about Indigenous land use history, and and discuss the small and big things we can do to support the land. You’ll hear from:

  • Porter Swentzell from Santa Clara Pueblo (historian, professor, Tribal councilman)
  • Roxanne Swentzell from Santa Clara Pueblo  (president of Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute, artist)
  • Aaron Kauffman (founder of Southwest Urban Hydrology)
  • Compost speaker TBD from Carbon Ranch Institute at the Quivira Coalition

You will get to hear from each specific perspective on caring for the land. See their bios and the agenda below! Other topics include a history of the land, the Indigenous people of the land, and historical land stewardship/ uses; we’ll do work on the land building erosion control structures while learning about their benefits for land and soil health; and explore the role of compost in Southwest soils: its relationship to water, plant health, and the Healthy Soil Principles.

Note: This is a rescheduled workshop that originally was supposed to take place in October 2022. The original site was in Cuba, NM but we are moving the workshop to Abiquiu for accessibility reasons.

🏕 Camping is available on Friday and Saturday nights.

🛻 This new location has ample parking and can be accessed by most vehicles.

🚶🏽‍♀️The workshop includes walking around rough terrain and shared work moving rocks for erosion control structures. You are NOT required to participate in these activities if you join us. The land is beautiful and you may prefer to relax near headquarters. The terrain is somewhat rough surrounding headquarters and the outhouse, but there is a dirt road that helps create access. Please reach out with any further questions about accessibility of the space and activities. Thank you!

Please contact Leah Potter-Weight with any questions at education@quiviracoalition.org.


If camping Friday night, please arrive between 4PM and 8PM

Saturday May 20
8:00 – 9:00AM: Breakfast (atole) and coffee catered by Roxanne; Sign-in; Introductions
9:00 – 9:15AM: Welcome and introduction to the land (Roxanne Swentzell and Leah Potter-Weight, Quivira Coalition); Participant introductions
9:15 – 10:30AM: Indigenous History of the Land and Historical Land Stewardship (Porter Swentzell)
10:30AM – 12:00PM: Erosion Control: monitoring for erosion, building low-tech structures to reduce erosion and build soil health. This is a hands-on work party – however you are welcome to still join even if you can’t do the work. (Aaron Kauffman)
12:00 – 1:00PM: Lunch (elk stew with tortillas) catered by Roxanne!
1:00 – 3:30PM: Continue erosion work (Aaron Kauffman)
3:30 – 5:00PM: History of Flowering Tree and Vision for the Land (Roxanne Swentzell); 30m Q&A
5:00 – 5:30PM: Break
5:30 – 6:30PM: Dinner (hot dogs) catered by Roxanne!
6:30PM onward: Relax and enjoy each other’s company!

Sunday May 21
8:00 – 9:00AM: Breakfast (atole) and coffee catered by Roxanne
9:00 – 11:00AM: Walk the land, observe the landscape, reflections and facilitated discussion (Roxanne, Porter & Leah)
11:00AM – 12:00PM: Compost and soil health (Speaker TBD from Carbon Ranch Initiative, Quivira Coalition)
12:00 – 1:00PM: Lunch (beans and tortillas) catered by Roxanne


Roxanne Swentzell

Roxanne Swentzell grew up sculpting, making pottery, building with adobe, and gardening.  Born in 1962 in Taos NM, into a family of Santa Clara Pueblo Artists (Naranjos), Roxanne grew up with her two sisters in a creative environment.  As a young child, she wasn’t able to communicate due to a speech impediment, but her mother handed her some clay and Roxanne found a new language.  She sculpted human figurines depicting something going on in her life that she wanted others to know. Meantime her parents were studying solar energy and as a family built themselves a solar adobe house in Santa Fe, NM.  They had a small garden plot and fruit tree along with turkeys and chickens.  Roxanne took it upon herself at an early age to be the caretaker of the gardens and animals.   She also took over (from her mother) making the dishes for the household.  Roxanne was able to attend the Institute of American Indian Arts while finishing her high school credits.

She then went on to study at the Portland Museum Art School in Oregon but after a year she returned home to be closer to her Native Culture and raise her two children.  She built a solar adobe house by hand for her and her children at Santa Clara Pueblo.  During this time, Roxanne was introduced to Permaculture and with the help of her husband (at that time) Joel Glanzberg, and a like-minded friend (Brett Bakker), they started the non-profit, Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute in 1989.  Roxanne’s home site was the place they would experiment with the practices of permaculture and teach.  Soon it became obvious that Roxanne’s ties to the Pueblo culture steered the Institute into cultural preservation and ways to become more self-sufficient.  She has written and had published, “Our Home” an experimental place in sustainable life-ways,  “Droppings” an occasional newsletter for the community,  “Extra-ordinary People”, (NM Magazine Artist Series), a number of “how-to” booklets, and her latest on the diet of her people, “The Pueblo Food Experience” Museum of NM Press.  Roxanne also created The Tower Gallery in Pojoaque, NM where she shows and sells her artwork.  These days, Roxanne homeschools her three oldest grandchildren, tends gardens and animals, makes sculptures, teaches building and gardening skills, and gives talks all around the country on her art, work in the tribe, and permaculture.  You can visit her website at: www.roxanneswentzell.net

Aaron Kauffman

Aaron Kauffman, originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, has over twenty years of experience analyzing and implementing simple and pragmatic solutions to watershed degradation. Aaron has a broad background in land management including reforestation projects as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, monitoring and evaluation of pre- and post-fire erosion rates in oak savanna and ponderosa pine environments, and stream restoration around the Southwest. Aaron has also developed and taught community workshops and courses, including a Watershed Management class as part of the Sustainable Technologies program at the Santa Fe Community College. More recently, he has dedicated himself to addressing urban watershed issues such as stormwater pollution, urban heat island effect, and channel degradation from flooding.
Aaron completed his undergraduate degree in Ecological Studies at Seattle University and received a Master of Science in Watershed Hydrology and Management from the University of Arizona. He founded Southwest Urban Hydrology LLC in 2012. Aside from waiting in anticipation for the next rainstorm, Aaron dabbles in oil pastels, enjoys backpacking, and takes recreational soccer much too seriously!


Porter Swentzell

Porter Swentzell is an enrolled member of Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He grew up participating in the traditional life of his community and is passionate about Indigenous language, place-based education, traditional arts and cultural vitality. Porter lives in his community with his wife and three kids. He currently serves as Tribal Secretary for Santa Clara Pueblo, a Regent for Northern New Mexico College, and on several non-profit boards. Previously, Porter was an Associate Professor of Indigenous Liberal Studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts where he also served as a Department Chair and Associate Dean. He holds a PhD in Justice Studies from Arizona State University, an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Western New Mexico University, a BA in Integrated Studies from Northern New Mexico College, and recently finished his MBA from WNMU.

Compost presenter TBD - more info soon!

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number G322-21-W8614 through the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under project number. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S.

Thank you to the funders that are helping make this workshop possible!


May 20 @ 9:00 am
May 21 @ 1:00 pm
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