Patricia Garcia-Nelson was born and raised in Greeley, Colorado. She attended East Memorial Elementary before it became Bella Romero Academy, where her 7-year-old son is currently a student. She moved to Louisiana in 2011 and returned in 2016 in hopes that her son would be able to grow up as she did in the foothills of Colorado. She is an active community member, participating, and volunteering with various organizations in Weld County. Her inspiration to stand up and fight for those who do not have a voice comes from her mother Ofelia, who has always led by example. No sooner had she learned about the Bella Romero wells, she began attending meetings, to learn about hydraulic fracturing and participating in the movement to stop it. Patricia was the parent plaintiff in the case against the COGCC for the approval of the Vetting project, a 24 well pad less than 700 ft from the playground at Bella Romero Academy. She has worked with organizations including 350 Colorado, Colorado Rising, Sierra Club, NAACP, Weld Air & Water and Wall of Women. The story of Bella Romero has been told by various local and national media outlets, most notably, Mother Jones, the New York Times and the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Patricia says she is nothing more than a mother willing to do whatever it takes to protect her child and the children of Bella Romero.
Patricia has been an integral part of many campaigns with 350 Colorado including recently participating as a panelist during Earth Week live 2020 on a roundtable of impacted community members titled “Frontline Fight Back”. She has been an advocate for the movement to protect our communities from fracking for many years. Patricia led efforts in her community to collect signatures for the Prop 112 to increase setbacks between fracking and occupied buildings and spoke at numerous events. She has testified at dozens of hearings of the State Legislature, COGCC, CDPHE and other governmental bodies urging protection of Colorado’s people from the dangers of fracking, especially highlighting the environmental justice issues around fracking by Bella Romero Academy and other communities of color. Patricia and other community members are currently leading efforts to gather signatures on a petition to Gov. Polis calling for shutting in the fracking wells by Bella Romero Academy. (Please sign and share!) 350 Colorado honors this powerful mother and leader and thanks to her for her tremendous efforts to protect all of our communities.