In 2022, some camps are organising camp experiences for you to participate in. We are hopeful that they will be able to go ahead. Camps will follow the local conditions closely, and may have to cancel activities if the local COVID-19 situation forces them to do so. If you have already signed up for a camp-activity you will be informed when this happens. We will update the website also, when such decisions are taken. Please check your own local authority travel advisory to see if you can travel to or return from the camp after the activity. At all times, when at camps, please observe it’s COVID-19 policy (such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, etc). 

Camp Elk Run Farm is the pilot farm for a non-profit called Drylands Agroecology Research. It is situated on 14 acres of previously dry and degraded fields in the rolling hills and grasslands of Longmont, Colorado. This region was once inhabited by native peoples of the Ute, Cheyenne-Arapaho, Comanche, Apache, Hopi, Dine, and other tribes. Once settlers from other continents arrived in the 1800s, towns, farms, and cities throughout Colorado were established. Many of the new settler’s agricultural practices were unsustainable and quickly degraded the once fertile grasslands.


In 2015, when Elk Run Farm began, the topsoil on this 14-acre foothills property had been visibly degraded, and little to no biodiversity remained. The overgrazing of ruminants, non-sustainable land management, extractive productions, and dry/arid/drought conditions was to blame. There was only enough well water on-site to irrigate about one acre of the farm, and the prevailing opinion was that there was not enough water on-site to restore the land to a farmable state.

Seven years later, the techniques that the founders used to regenerate the land have become the core methodologies of the pilot farm’s non-profit, Drylands Agroecology Research (DAR). These techniques include water-harvesting earthworks, dryland agroforestry, intensive livestock management, and drought-resilient grain crop trials and breeding. DAR is scaling its implementations through partnerships with landowners and simultaneously developing a research program to track how well the landscapes are sequestering carbon, retaining moisture, supporting biodiversity, and producing viable agricultural yields. Camp Elk Run Farm aims to restore over 1000 hectares of land within the next decade so that these lands can once again teem with the spirit they used to hold.

Who is needed at Camp Elk Run Farm

Anyone is invited to support Elk Run Farm through our volunteer program, which provides general opportunities to engage with farm activities, the research program, and events. We also have a need for volunteers with particular hard skills such as equipment/tractor operation, construction, community outreach, etc…

What to expect at camp

A warm welcome, service-based leadership, gentle, confident guidance and ample community connections. You can also join us for simple day time classes, plant walks, workshop intensives, Permaculture Design courses, farm to table dinners, and celebrations with live music.

Achievements to date

Camp Elk Run Farm has:

  • Successfully established 824 fruit and nurse trees in un-irrigated contour swales over four years, demonstrating over an 85% survival rate despite the arid conditions
  • Transformed a compact gravel parking lot into 5” of rich, water-retentive topsoil using intensive rotations of organic materials, pigs, chickens, and crops
  • Noted increasing yields of Hopi blue corn, Hopi black beans, amaranth, and grain sorghum in this revitalized soil, with only spring irrigation
    Achieved 90% food self sufficiency for the household and interns
  • Collected soil data that has revealed increased water retention, carbon sequestration, and microbial life in all different applications as compared to the adjacent open space
  • Built bridges with local Indigenous communities by supplying CSA shares to Indigenous elders through Spirit of the Sun and supporting land regeneration with Shoshone tribal members

Vision and socio-economic context

Camp Elk Run Farm is the pilot research project for Drylands Agroecology Research. Their core belief is that this project will allow many local farms and community members to come together and effectively learn and practice regenerative design, installation, and socially/environmentally responsible land stewardship. Together as a team, Camp Elk Run Farm is striving to show the importance of creating true connections to the land through regeneration and environmental justice work.


Long-term, Camp Elk Run Farm envisions a massively-scaled up network of farms, public lands, private properties, and Indigenous lands interconnected in a restoration and stewardship culture, with thousands of regenerative economic livelihoods supported by super-abundant mixed agricultural and social enterprise ecosystems.

Organising Partners

Next camp

3 – 6 June – details to follow!

Facilities

Indoor/outdoor kitchen
Three-season outdoor gathering spaces
Advanced sanitation
Basic camping
Medical facilities nearby

 

Restoration Activities

Water retention
Tree Planting
Bioremediation
Compost making
Community building
Fire prevention
Restoration of livelihoods
Soil restoration
Erosion prevention
Regenerative entrepreneurialism
Restoration Holidays
Natural Building

Latest News from the Camp

How to apply

Please complete the form below to express your interest in joining the team at Camp Elk Run Farm

What you must do to ensure your own safety at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp

Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.

Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.

Contact us:

info@ecosystemrestorationcamps.org

Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation /
Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020

Joppelaan 77
7215 AD Joppe
The Netherlands

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