2022 Is the Year of the River

Join us this spring for all things river:

monthly pub talks, storytelling, poetry, art, music, and more!

Our annual outdoor art exhibit, The Year of the River, opened June 3rd and is here through the end of August.

We invite you to explore the Poudre River through the lens of creative interpretations from a dozen local artists outside and around the Publick House. Throughout the summer we are offering pub talks, storytelling events, readings, performances and more, stay tuned and hop on this boat!

Rivers are the oldest moving things– the veins of our great planet, cycling through and offering life to all that they reach. In observing this life force, there is wonder and contemplative opportunity at every bend. This true energy flow is a force many try to capture, and many hope to preserve. Is the river a being, a living, breathing, willful thinking thing? Let us admire it as such. 

2022 is The Year of the River here at Wolverine Farm Publick House. In efforts to create the world which we seek, we are rediscovering what it means to be in relationship with the life force of our land. This summer, a dozen artists will create and exhibit artworks interpreting the 126 miles of the Poudre river, spanning from its Headwaters on the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park to its confluence with the South Platte River in Weld County. This interactive and immersive art exhibit will span the property of the Publick House (and beyond!?) from June-August. We invite you to walk the river with us, through artistic expression and physical exploration. 

We honor the National Heritage of the Cache La Poudre River and greater region, with reverence and acknowledgment that the land we are on is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Araphaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations peoples. This was also a site of trade, gathering and healing for numerous other Native tribes. Find more historical context of the People of the Poudre (Burris, 2006).

Mid Map of the Poudre River from its headwaters on the Continental Divide to its confluence with the South Platte River– created by Wolverine Farm Staff.

As the last free river (un-dammed) on the Colorado Front Range, find the wild, untamed, and poised inspiration you seek from these waters. Sit beneath a cottonwood tree and understand what it’s like to live in an ever-state of gazing into the sky, almost hoping to remain unnoticed, to  pass an unassuming century in solitude. With its contemplative presence, let the river serve as a reminder of the stillness in motion.

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Wolverine Farm turns 20 in 2022, with a focus back on the Wild World

To celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2022, we’re looking back on all our literary, artistic, and cultural work in order to recenter wildness in our world. Our foremost core value is “to provide meaningful context for social and environmental issues to be discussed, deepened, and reimagined.” Near 100 publications of local writers/activists/scientists, one thriving Publick House, thousands of events and workshops, and countless inspired lives later, we trust where we are coming from and know that our work makes a difference in the social ecology of Fort Collins and the Front Range. On the bedrock of community engagement, trust, and accountability, this year we are returning to our focus on the planet; while COVID forced some unwanted changes in our business practices (providing disposable to-go cups for the first time, for example), we’ve also had the time to scheme all the radical changes we want to implement in support of our wild world.


Using the Publick House as ground zero for practicing our beliefs, and exploring the connections between literature, art, and community engagement, we have established four key realms of action that intersect both community and environmental concerns: food, waste, water, and people. Initiatives under these umbrella areas include: growing 30% of the food used at the Publick house ourselves, both onsite as well as on a nearby satellite farm; composting all applicable food waste; auditing landfill waste (50% reduction by January 2023) and carbon output (20% reduction by 2023); reinvigorating efforts to establish a city-wide reusable to-go cup program; and working around the theme of “The Year of the River” for art installations and pub talks. 


Built into these efforts are a wealth of community engagement opportunities: volunteer shifts weekly in our gardens and at the Publick House, youth science workshops with our composting system, volunteer-guided potamology club, and other such art, education, and involvement activities. We have enthusiastic commitments from both employees and expert community members to sustain and guide these efforts.


As a coalition of artistic and rooted community members, as well as a small business located in the River District of downtown Fort Collins, these efforts are essential concerns. We believe that walking the walk is a powerful way of changing the landscape of one’s community. This puts us, sometimes, on the fringe of convention: it is not popular, for example, to unabashedly prioritize human and ecological vitality over market profits. However, we are sure that in order to live our values, we have to look outside of the world as we know it and trust that there are different, and better, ways of doing business.