Ripples

The Official Newsletter of the River Reach Foundation

 

August 2022

 

The President’s Corner

D’Ann Waters

I would like to thank all the wonderful volunteers and sponsors that helped make Riverfest 2022 the great success that it was with around 25,000 people attending. Evan Noel and Jim Neidhart did a wonderful job of co-chairing the event! I would also like to thank the City of Farmington Parks and Recreation employees that went above and beyond their duties to help make the event a success. They also gave over 100% to help everyone Sunday afternoon when the high winds hit the area. Be sure and visit our website:  www.riverfestnewmexico.com as it has many wonderful pictures of some of the events and will shortly have a video that was done by Zia Drones. Please see the article “Riverfest 2022 Recap” for more information on the event.

We are in the final days of summer and soon school will be back in session. As Fall approaches, the Foundation will be turning its attention to projects and upcoming events. In August we will revisit our strategic planning process and make any changes that are needed. We welcome any comments or suggestions from you, our newsletter recipients and Foundation members. We also move into the organizational phase of our second annual Animas River Jam.

SAVE THE DATE!!!

Our second annual Animas River Jam will be held Saturday October 8, 2022. It will be held from 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM at the River Reach Terrace. There will be three bands playing, a western band, a Spanish band, and a classic rock band. We will also have a beer and wine garden, food trucks, and some arts and crafts vendors present. Early October is a beautiful time of the year when the trees are changing colors and the weather is comfortable. Bring your chairs and blankets and come enjoy some good music, food, and conversations! See you then!

Riverfest 2022 Recap

Riverfest 2022 was a huge success after missing the last two years because of the COVID pandemic. Gloria Lehmer’s sponsorship team raised over $70,000 by 39 Corporation and local business donations and sponsorships. She did a fantastic job! Riverfest’s overall event donors and sponsors were Basin Coordinated/ Home Health & Hospice and KSJE 90.9 FM. Our main partners were the city of Farmington and the Chamber of Commerce along with Clancy’s, San Juan County, the Farmington Indian Center and Rio del Sol Kiwanis. A complete list of the companies is included in this newsletter as usual, the Wiener dog races, the duck race, the Gourd Dance, and Joe Tohonnie & the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers were huge hits. The Desert River Guides provided rafting along the Animas River, and we also held our first River Raft parade which provided a lot of excitement to say the least! There was something for everyone this year as we had 65 arts and crafts vendors, 27 food vendors, and 42 non-food vendors spread throughout the park. There were 17 bands, a magician, and a yo-yo exhibition by Luke Renner.

The trails were really crowded and that is something the Foundation along with the City of Farmington will be looking into for next year. They will also be exploring ways to expand better handicap access to the center of the park. Finally, congratulations to the duck race winners! First place of $2,000 went to Arnold James, second place of $1,000 went to Kelly Ho, and third place of $500 went to Kaibah Gorman.

2022 Riverfest Sponsors and Donors

Overall Event Sponsors

Partners

      

Sponsors & Donors

Northern Edge Casino Orthopedic Associates
Merrion Oil & Gas PNM
Navajo Transitional Energy Company R.A. Biel Plumbing & Heating
Cascade Bottled Water Redi-Door Storage
Keres Consulting San Juan United Way
Noel’s Inc. San Juan Oncology / Four Corners Cancer Center
Advantage Dodge Village Inn
Artifacts 302 Wagner CAT
Brady Trading LLC Walmart / Sams
Citizens Bank Waste Management
Desert Hills Dental Automax
Dugan Production Big R
Farmington RV Sales Carpet One
Hi-Country Auto Group Jack’s Plastic Welding
Laundratopia Four Corners Community Bank
Morgan Stanley (Jeff Young, Brian Turner, Jeanine Kelly) Melloy Honda
James & Susan Neidhart PESCO
  Sun Ray Gaming


“What’s the Scoop on Poop in the San Juan Watershed?”
Study Results

By Alyssa Richmond, San Juan Watershed Group Coordinator

The initial article on this report was published by Alyssa Richmond in our January “Ripples” newsletter. A brief conclusion is that bacteria pollution has been an ongoing concern since 2005 along the San Juan & Animas River. In a 2013-2014 study 46% of the San Juan River E. coli samples exceeded the standard for primary contact such as swimming or any recreational water use and that posed a significant health hazard. That study provided the baseline for determining the presence of human fecal bacteria in the San Juan Watershed of New Mexico. Between July and October 2021 17 sites along the San Juan, Animas, LaPlata Rivers, and the Stevens and Shumway arroyos were taken.

The purpose was to find out where the poop was coming from and what could be done about it. The conclusion of the study showed that while there was a huge improvement in the reduction of human source bacteria over the past 8 years, the detected quantities suggest that work still needs to be done to improve water quality. Various projects such as expanding the sewer infrastructure, community outreach on septic care and illegal dumping contributed to the improvement. However, bacteria continue to be a water quality concern in the San Juan Watershed of New Mexico. Strategic public education on water quality impairment is recommended and further watershed planning, and water quality monitoring is needed.

IN OTHER NEWS

Sadly, we said goodbye to the San Juan Watershed Group Coordinator, Alyssa Richmond. She and her partner have moved to the Espanola area on July 1st. She will be working remotely with the Animas Environmental Services team as an Environmental Project manager. We wish her the very best in this new career and life change.

On another sad note, our Foundation Treasurer, Debbie Braff, recently lost her sister Fran. The Foundation extends their deepest sympathy to Debbie.

Getting to Know our Board Members

D'Ann Waters

D'Ann Waters

President

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 Lupton

Karen Lupton

Past President

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 Smith

Monica Smith

Vice President

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

Debbie Braff

Treasurer

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

Chris Troyer

Secretary

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.

Bob Lehmer

Bob Lehmer

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

Gloria Lehmer

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

Cody Dudgeon

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

Gary Hanson

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).

Rick Page

Rick Page

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.

Evan Noel

Evan Noel

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.

Ryan Merrion

Ryan Merrion

James Neidhart

James Neidhart

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.

James Luther

James Luther

Doug Abe

Doug Abe

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 Your Paver Today

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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