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Our Mission

Our mission is to celebrate the connection between personal health and wild lands.

We manifest this goal through promoting and practicing sustainable practices. A few examples of our work include growing and preparing local, wild and living food for the community, driving a vegetable oil-run vehicle, utilizing solar dehydrators, using a bicycle powered blender and wheatgrass juicer and educating about the great value of wild foods and wild lands in the school systems.

The Turtle Family

turtle photo 600px.jpg

Who We are: 

  Chloe and carrots 500.jpgChloe Fae Bovoletis has an intense appreciation and respect for the Earth and all she embodies. She is dedicated to finding ways to live more harmoniously with all the beings and to promote health and healing in her own life. She has worked at TLR since the summer of 2014. She contributes by concocting creative meals at the Turtle cafe and preparing all the wild raw products that support TLR, Chloe derives her joy from building community, hunting wild mushrooms, hot springing, swimming, backpacking, dancing, growing food, cooking for friends, hula hooping, writing poetry, and creating as much positive change in the world as she can. 


kate in the plantain truck400.jpgKate Shavel

Kate Shavel has been working with Turtle Lake for the past 6 years and is passionate about wild lands and wild living. She enjoys long walks in the mountains and spinning into tidepools by the sea. She loves practicing herbal medicine and spending time with children and honey bees. She hopes to inspire people to open to the magic of the world and trust in their dreams. 

Rachel Bennett.jpgRachel Bennett

I strive to be a conscious contributor to regenerative processes of our Mother Earth and relations, particularly through community development.  Since moving to Durango in 2012 I have worked with Turtle Lake Refuge in a natural order.  I mainly assist with the micro-greens and scrumptious lunch preparations in the café.  Also developing a community seed library, nurturing a backyard urban garden, and serving as a doula in the birth space.  Still finding moments to enjoy the inherent wild beauty of our southwestern region.  


Katrina Blair at the Durango Farmer's Market

Katrina Blair began studying wild plants in her teens when she camped out alone for a summer with the intention of eating primarily wild foods. She later wrote â??The Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants of the San Juan Mountainsâ?? for her senior project at Colorado College. In 1997 she completed a MA at John F Kennedy University in Orinda, CA in Holistic Health Education. She founded Turtle Lake Refuge in 1998, a non-profit, whose mission is to celebrate the connection between personal health and wild lands. She teaches sustainable living practices, permaculture and wild edible and medicinal plant classes locally and internationally. She is the auther of a book titled â??Local Wild Life- Turtle Lake Refugeâ??s Recipes for Living Deepâ??, published in 2009 that focuses on the uses and recipes of the local wild abundance.  Her latest book is "The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival" published in 2014 by Chelsea Green.

  Monea Monroe I'm an adventure loving mom of two. When I'm not making turtle treats I love to hike and climb. I'm a permaculturist and an artist. I also make medicine from my garden herbs and wild weeds. :)

Dylan Ruckel   I was born and raised in Florida and came to Durango for college in 2012.  I graduated with an Environmental Studies degree.  I love the river and playing guitar.  I bring an upbeat and fun attitude to Turtle Lake! I also love chocolate! 

Brain Barnes

Caralise McIntosh

Cathering Grillos

Galen Blair

Gus Elbert

Ryell Carley

Gabriela Ranzi

Rachel Gallien

Pat Blair


Our Location Downtown

We are located at 848 E. 3rd Ave. in Durango, Colorado; we are in the same building as Rocky Mountain Retreat. The main entrance for Turtle Lake Refuge is in the back of the building in the alley. You may also enter from the front by using the pathway on the south side of the building.

From the front:


For more photos from Turtle Lake Refuge check out our Flickr page.