The Official Newsletter of the River Reach Foundation
The Return of . . .
May 27, 28, 29, 2022
Riverfest takes place over the Memorial Day weekend at both Berg Park and Animas Park starting at 5pm on Friday evening with live entertainment until 8pm, including a VIP Tent with food and drinks for major sponsors, donors, and community partners. The event continues on Saturday from 10am to 8pm and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
The President’s Corner
The River Reach Foundation has been very busy this past quarter. We held our annual general meeting and elections on February 3rd. Nomination and approval of new Board members and new officers are as follows: Directors for new 3-year terms are Cody Dudgeon, Karen Lupton, Evan Noel, D’Ann Waters, and Debbie Braff. I am entering my 2nd year as president. Gary Hanson was elected Vice-President. Debbie Braff continues another term as Treasurer and Chris Troyer continues as Secretary. Continuing Directors not up for election this term are Doug Abe, Gloria and Bob Lehmer, Jim Luther, Jim Neidhart, Ryan Merrion, and Monica Smith. The Foundation is very excited to have nominated and approved an additional new Director, Earleen Dudley, who retired from her 37-year design business in California and moved here just over a year ago. Earleen is beginning her 3-year term and is head of the marketing team.
A ribbon cutting and dedication of Lehmer’s Lookout at the “Among the Waters River Trail” was held on March 25th. The Lehmer’s Lookout was dedicated in honor of Dr. Bob Lehmer’s vision and contribution to our river and its trails through his work to promote, protect, and enhance the riverine corridor. A beautiful plaque, pergola, and picnic table are placed at the site overlooking a beautiful view of the river.
Earth Day is Saturday April 23rd and we will be participating in events at the Nature Center.
Cody Dudgeon and his wife Ryan have proposed a floating river clean-up event prior to Riverfest between River Reach Terrace and Miller Street Bridge. https://desertriverguides.com/events/
Read the articles in this publication and go to our websites https://riverfestnewmexico.com/ and
https://riverreachfoundation.com/ for more information on these activities and events taking place at Riverfest.
Riverfest is Back and Better than Ever!
Memorial Day Weekend
May 27, 28, & 29, 2022
Join family and friends at Riverfest’s 34th festival on the banks of the beautiful Animas River in the HEART of Farmington, New Mexico. Check us out at https://riverfestnewmexico.com/.
Enjoy great food vendors and your favorite brews, served up at beer and wine gardens surrounding the main stages, featuring a variety of music and live bands, at both the River Reach Terrace and at the Rocky Reach Landing.
Shop hand-crafted creations by local and regional Artisans and vendors throughout the park. Flaunt your talents in the Recycled Fashion Show or with the Plein Aire Artists. The Kids can experience the large “Adventure Zone” and enjoy Misto The Mali’s magic show at the Rocky Reach Landing.
Watch performances by Joe Tohonnie Jr. and the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers on Saturday at the Little Pavilion on River Reach Terrace and help the One Nation Gourd Dance Club honor our Veterans and Leaders on Sunday at the Veterans Memorial Park. Enjoy Classic cars at the ‘Show and Shine’ at Cottonwood Landing.
Be part of the Raft Rally and Costume Contest as you drift down the Animas. Enjoy raft rides, tractor rides, Yoga and the10K/5K/2mile Fun Run.
Enter your Dachshund in the famous Wiener Dog Race or Introduce your pooch to the Roverfest costume parade! Purchase your tickets for the Duck Race and watch your duck float down Willett Ditch where the winning duck wins $2,000 cash.
Riverfest 34, “A jolt Worthy Event” is hosted by the River Reach Foundation and the City of Farmington. Sponsors include Basin Home Health, the Farmington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, KSJE, and MANY more!
Check out https://riverfestnewmexico.com/ for more details to register and to purchase duck tickets in advance, or to Volunteer.
RIVERFEST 2022 NEEDS YOU!
By Chris Troyer
This year’s Riverfest is anticipated to be bigger and better than ever. A successful Riverfest is dependent on many volunteers. In past we have had over 100 people volunteering at various booths and activities. This year volunteer opportunities include Information booths, Merchandise Booths, Duck ticket booths, Kids Arts & Crafts, Set-up and Take-down, wiener Dog Race, Eating Areas, and Traffic Control. Each Volunteer will get a free volunteer T-shirt. Pickup will be on Wednesday, May 25th at the Civic Center. To volunteer simply click on the link below to complete the volunteer application. Once you submit your application you will be presented with a page where you can choose the volunteer area and shifts. When you finish you will receive 2 emails: one with your volunteer information and the other with your volunteer assignments. Each email will contain a link where you can update your profile or cancel or change your shift assignments. The Volunteer Coordinator will send out an email to all volunteers a week prior to the event to remind everyone of their shifts and of the Volunteer Orientation and T-shirt pickup. Hope to see you at Riverfest 2022.
By Chris Troyer
The River Reach Foundation will participate in celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 23rd at the Nature Center from 11:00am to 2:00pm in Animas Park. Activities will include:
- Making Seed Balls
- Creating art from recycled materials
- Walking tours of the park
- Xeriscape Demonstration
- Seed Savers will be giving away seeds
- Tree planting
- Tree Wrapping (to protect trees from beavers)
- Farmington Clean and Beautiful will have other fun activities
Be sure to stop by the river Reach Foundation Booth and say hi.
RIVERFEST RALLY RAFT PARADE
AND COSTUMER CONTENT
By Cody Dudgeon
The annual Riverfest in Farmington has become an iconic opening to summer for the people of northwest New Mexico and throughout the Four Corners states. With live music, art shows, kids activities and crafts, and lots of amazing food, the celebration of spring draws tens of thousands of people each year. This year the River Reach Foundation and Desert River Guides rafting company have added one more event for those visitors to enjoy. A Raft Parade and Costume Contest. Open to anyone with a craft to float the river and a life jacket to stay safe, participants should have their boat/craft at the Animas Park river access near the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter and ready to launch before 11 a. m. on Sunday May 29th. Some people might want to float from the Penny Lane access down and park their boats on the rock bar above the Animas Park put-in to extend their trip. Rafters will launch their craft in full regalia and costumes and float through Berg Park for Fun and Spectacle. While passing through the area of the Veteran’s Memorial, judges from the River Reach Foundation and the public will critique each boat for theme, creativity, and participation (I.e., is everyone on the boat dressed up). The raft with the most points will win a Riverfest Rally trophy paddle and will be announced at 3pm in Berg Park the Little Pavilion.
If you or your organization does not have access to a river craft, you can contact Desert River Guides to sponsor a raft in the parade. Anyone who sponsors a raft for the parade can bring up to 10 people to float that day. You can also bring a sign or banner with your organization’s name and contact information to display during the parade. You will need to supply your own costumes, but DRG will provide lifejackets and a guide. If you want your guide to match the theme of your costumes, you might want to bring them something to wear. Remember costumes need to be visible while wearing a life jacket or be worn over the life jacket. For more information about the parade please contact DRG at 505-427-7734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as soon as possible.
For those who are not interested in the parade and just want to float the Animas River anytime during Riverfest, Desert River Guides is offering a special starting Friday 5/27 at 10 am and running through our last launch approximately every hour. Come see them at the tent by the put-in that weekend or give them a call. Desert River Guides will be rafting on the Animas and San Juan Rivers all summer long, if you can’t float with them during Riverfest check out the Desert River Guides Website or call them at 505-427-7734 about price and availability of all their fun and beautiful tours. See you on the river.
ANIMAS RIVER CLEANUP
MAY 14, 2022
By Cody Dudgeon
Desert River Guides, City of Farmington Parks and Recreation, and Farmington Clean and Beautiful are working together to prep the river trails from the River Reach Terrace down to the Miller Street Bridge take-out. Volunteers will meet at Desert River Guides (119 E Pinon) to get trash bags and supplies at am on Saturday, May 14th. Those who prefer to walk the trails will walk “upstream” towards the River Reach Terrace. Floaters will be on rafts and pulling up on the banks to grab trash and debris on the river. They will continue downstream to the takeout. At 11:00 am, volunteers can meet back at DRG for T-shirts.
RIVERFEST 2022 ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE
RIVER REACH TERRACE
5:00pm – 6:15pm – Majik Ham
6:45pm – 9:00pm – Tim Sullivan
10:00am – 11:30am – Sandstoners
11:00am – 12:00pm – Weiner Dog Races
12:30pm – 2:00pm – Breezin’
2:30pm – 4:00pm – Joe Tohonnie Jr. and the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers
4:30pm – 6:00pm – Jokers Wild
6:30pm – 8:00pm – Funkified
11:00am – 12:30pm – D’DAT
1:00pm – 2:30pm – Black Velvet
3:00pm – 5:00pm – Tumblin Dice
ROCKY REACH LANDING
10:00am – 11:30am – Zia Chicks
11:30 – 12:00pm – Misto the Maji (Magic Show)
12:00pm – 1:30pm – Julie and the Boyz
2:00pm – 3:30pm – Brant Leeper Band
4:00pm – 5:30pm – Majik Ham
6:00pm – 8:00pm – Rico Jones & Ii-Yat Collective (from New York)
11:00am – 12:30pm – Pete Giuliani Band
12:30pm – 1:00pm – Misto the Maji (Magic Show)
1:30pm – 2:30pm – Kirk James Band
2:00pm – 3:00pm – Duck Race
3:00pm – 3:30pm – Misto the Maji (Magic Show)
3:30pm – 5:00pm – Wild Country
Getting to Know our Board Members
D'Ann Waters joined the River Reach Foundation in 2017. She was the vice-president last year and is the newly elected president. D'Ann is a retired Travel Consultant and Real Estate Broker. She is a firm believer in continual learning and has recently completed two courses in accounting and is looking forward to finding another less complicated course to take.
Karen serves as the Immediate Past President of the River Reach Foundation. She enjoys looking for ways to connect people with the beautiful rivers here in Farmington and working to put on events that bring people down to the river!
Monica serves as the current vice president of the foundation. Monica was born and raised in Farmington. And has served on the foundation for the past three years. Monica enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and fishing.
Debbie Braff joined the River Reach Foundation in 2003 and currently serves as the Treasurer. She is a retired Farmington school principal. Her hobbies include photography, landscape gardening, and walking or hiking her golden retrievers at the River or up on Hood Mesa.
Chris Troyer, River Reach Member since 2017. Moved to Farmington in 2013 with ConocoPhillips. Currently retired. I enjoy walking my dog Chester, hiking, playing Pickle ball, traveling to see my grandchildren in Texas and Washington and volunteering. Currently board member at Big Brothers Big Sisters. Volunteered with the City to inventory all items in the museum collection.
Co Chairman of the PRCA Riverine Task Force in 1984. Became a founding member of the River Reach Foundation in 1986 and its first President. Has continued since as a member of the Board of Directors. Started the first Riverfest (1987)and Riverglo (1998).
Gloria Lehmer has been participating in the events and trails on our Rivers since she moved back from College in the late 80’s. She’s been a River Reach Foundation Board Member for a number of years, and currently serves as the Goal Team #1.
Cody Dudgeon is a teacher at Piedra Vista High School who grew up in Flora Vista beside the Animas River. He and his wife have been whitewater raft guides in Montana and Idaho and appreciate the beauty and quality of life that rivers provide the communities on their banks. After moving back to New Mexico in 2015 Cody joined the River Reach foundation to help promote the protection, and advocate for the sustainable use, of our local rivers. Beginning this spring Cody and his wife's new venture Desert River Guides will be offering river raft trips on the Animas and San Juan rivers. As a community member who walks the trails with his daughter and a small business owner starting a company based on river recreation, Cody believes that the River Reach Foundation is an essential part of the future of Farmington.
Gary Hanson is a retired lawyer. He and his wife, Jeanne, moved to Farmington in 2018 as an "adventure" destination and love their new home. Gary's interests include hiking, biking, exploring the Four Corners, and spending time with good friends (both two and four-legged).
I joined the Board in the mid 90’s as near as I can remember, no one I’ve talked to has any specific records. I was both Board president and Riverfest chairman in 2003 and 2004. My hobbies include my grandkids, rafting, hiking, camping, fishing and cooking. During my time one the Board, I’ve been involved in numerous river projects including boat launches, Animas / San Juan river guide, bank stabilization projects, Penny Lane Dam reconstruction, Rocky Reach rapid construction and reconstruction modification.
Born In Farmington. Graduated From FHS 2001. BA in business administration UNM. Former ABO Certified Optician in Albuquerque/Santa Fe area. Moved back to Farmington to worked for the Family business, Noel’s Inc. for 14 years. Secretary, Rotary Club of Farmington. Commissioner Farmington PRCA. Board Member San Juan big Brothers Big Sisters. 4-time Fantasy Football Champion. Yoga enthusiast. Father of Two wonderful Boys.
My wife and I moved to Farmington in 1996 in no small part because of the River Walk and community spirit. I joined the River Reach Foundation board in 2021. Now about four years retired, I enjoy family, farming, fishing, reading, gardening, and horses.
Join the River Reach Foundation
Help the Foundation meet its goals by becoming a member today!
As a member, you are entitled to voting privileges in Foundation matters. Members are encouraged to attend the Foundation's meetings which occur on the first Thursday of each month at 6:00 PM at the Farmington Civic Center. If you have any questions or concerns, please call (505) 716-4405.
Buy a Custom Brick Paver
Purchase your engraved custom memorial, family, or business concrete paver to show your support for the river trails. Your paver will be located in a highly visible location at the River Reach Terrace for all river walk visitors to see and enjoy every day for years to come.
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River Reach Foundation · P.O. Box 2056 · Farmington, NM 87499-2056 · 505.716.4405 · email@example.com