- Who We Are
- Projects & Places
|Location||Towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford, CO|
|Project Website||North Fork Valley Heart & Soul|
The three towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford, CO and their local chambers of commerce recognize that their economic future lies in working together and cultivating interest in the assets of the entire valley. In a series of conversations the community called North Fork Vision 2020, citizens identified opportunities to discuss and emphasize their collective strengths and to market a North Fork Experience aimed at improving their waning economy.
North Fork’s Heart & Soul project is to identify and translate the values of a tri-town community into a shared vision that will drive their unique economic development, increase social cohesion and provide a framework for effective decision-making. There are significant external influences that will potentially affect the economic and social development of this area over the next ten years, including oil and gas production, closing and opening of coal mines, market demand for agricultural products, an aging population, and technology infrastructure upgrades. The Project partnerships provide an opportunity to help unify the community and find a path to a strong, sustainable future.
Located in Western Colorado, the North Fork Valley of the Gunnison River is a “Place to Savor,” bound by the West Elk Mountains on the east, Grand Mesa to the North and canyons and high deserts to the south and west. The Valley holds the Towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford and boasts stunning and expansive acres of farms, orchards, ranches, wildlife areas and semi-arid desert lands. These towns, combined, are home to about 7,000 people, and although each town is unique and independent, their long-term plans are recognizably interdependent.
The North Fork Valley has a strong history of agriculture, animal husbandry and coal mining, and all three still contribute to both the culture and economic vitality of the region. The Valley is also home to burgeoning wine and organic fruit and vegetable markets, as well as one of the foremost national environmental newspapers, High Country News.
The town governments of Paonia and Hotchkiss are key partners in North Fork Valley’s Heart & Soul process. The councils, service organizations and local non-profits in each town play important roles in building community and strengthening the economies of the North Fork Valley.
Each town’s Chamber of Commerce also plays an integral role in the Heart & Soul Process. Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Crawford's Chambers are each dedicated to supporting the businesses of the North Fork Valley, and the communities and lands that support these local industries.
Delta County Economic Development, Inc. (DCED) is a key partner with the towns and other local organizations. DCED plays a significant role in helping existing businesses in Delta County to expand, and recruiting new businesses and investment to the area.