Ripples

The Official Newsletter of the River Reach Foundation

 

May 2021

 

Among the Waters Trail Update

Part Two

Amanda Garcia

We are pleased and excited to announce that in addition to the continuing expansion of The River Walk, in Farmington, New Mexico, a Veteran’s Memorial honoring the brave soldiers of Bataan, will be constructed, at a site located on “The Among the Waters” portion of the trail system.

In 1942, during WW2, The Bataan Peninsula, in Philippines, was surrendered to The Imperial Japanese Army.  76,000 soldiers were forced to march in what is now known as The Bataan Death March, of the 76,000 soldiers, 10,000 were American, of those 1800-2500 were from New Mexico.  These men then became prisoners of war up to and over 3 years.  Many of those that perished or survived, “The Death March” called San Juan County home.

The Veteran’s Bataan Memorial will be dedicated to our local heroes, while representing New Mexico and The United States.  The vision is grand, and we predict that the memorial will become a destination for travelers near and far.

It is going to take a village!

The River Reach Foundation has graciously agreed to act as our financial facilitator.  Donations can be made, via The River Reach Foundation, P.O. Box 2056, Farmington, NM 87499-2056 with instructions that donation is for the Veteran’s Bataan Memorial.

Feel free to contact me, Amanda Garcia, at: 505-402-8186, bataan@amandagarcia.com

 

Animas River through Cedar Hill

The Animas River flows through Cedar Hill, Wednesday, Dec 23, 2020, near the place the county plans to build a new boat launch. Hannah Grover/The Daily Times

Cedar Hill will soon have a place to put a raft into the Animas River

The Daily Times

The County Commission unanimously approved a $170,000 budget adjustment to move forward with the project earlier this month.  Construction will take place during the summer when river levels are low.

www.daily-times.com

The President’s Corner

D’Ann Waters

The River Reach Foundation is excited to partner with the City of Farmington in presenting the first Animas River Jam over the Memorial Day weekend.  It will take place on Saturday, May 29th and Sunday, May 30th.  During the event, we will have volunteers walking around asking the public to fill out a short survey letting us know how they feel about this event – what they like, dislike, or would like to see incorporated.  Individuals filling out the survey will be eligible for a drawing, a rafting trip for 4 persons, provided by the Desert River Guides.  Hopefully, depending on the survey results, it will become a permanent event, possibly with the addition of some arts and crafts vendors, that will take place in the late summer or early fall each year.  Because of our present COVID-19 restrictions, this first event will consist of just music and some food vendors.  Bring your own chairs or blankets and join us for some great music and food.

Other News

In January, the New Mexico Tourism Department contracted with LEO Events in forming a cooperative marketing program through New Mexico True called New Mexico Strategic Event Recovery Readiness Initiative Events (SERRI).  The purpose of the program is to restore and reinvigorate events as a crucial driver of New Mexico’s tourism economy.  13 events were selected based partly on events that are uniquely New Mexican, have good community support, potential for growth, and visitors experience.  We are incredibly grateful to Ingrid Gilbert from the Convention and Visitors Bureau for nominating our Riverfest event and are honored to have Riverfest chosen as one of those 13 New Mexico events.  Since February, we have been busy partnering with the SERRI team members as they have been reviewing our discoverability through our webpage and Facebook pages, our event documents, expenses, and potential for revenue.  We are new getting ready to start implementing recommended changes and additions to reinvigorate Riverfest 2022 and bring more interest to Farmington’s tourism economy.

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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