Who we are and what we do…
Join us on our journey!
The River Reach Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization composed of enthusiastic boaters, floaters, joggers, bikers, and fishers aplenty enjoying the beauty of nature. We are dedicated to the protection, promotion, and enhancement of Farmington’s riverine corridors.
Prior to the mid-1980s, most of the land adjacent to the Animas River was in agricultural or industrial use with abandoned cars, cement blocks, and appliances dumped in the river to stabilize the riverbanks. In 1984 a Riverine Task Force was established to review the preservation of waterways, wildlife sanctuaries, and natural features along with examining current land usage and ownership. They began to make recommendations of planning and management policies and in 1986 after a Regional Urban Design Assistance Team study the River Reach Foundation was established. Since that time, the Foundation has worked behind the scenes alongside the city to bring people and the river together.
36 acres of land along the Animas River were donated and we began a cleanup effort to remove abandoned cars, concrete blocks, and appliances from the river and along the banks. Five years later after a short section of trail was cleared, we held the first Riverfest on Labor Day in 1987. The city continued the trail development establishing Berg and Animas Park and in December of 1997 we held the first Riverglo.
The Foundation has partnered with the city by paying for land surveys and negotiating with land owners for land donations and easements for trail extensions. The River Reach Foundation has raised funds for the construction of the whitewater rapids at Rocky Reach Terrace and the River of Foundations water feature. We also assisted in the development of raft put ins and take outs, and signage on the roadways to find them, and consulted on the reconstruction of the dangerous Penny Lane Dam making rafting safer and more enjoyable.
We have partnered with the city’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Department as they built the Nature Center, the Harvest Grove Farm & Orchard, the Little Pavilion, the All Veterans Memorial, the wetlands area at the Nature Center, and the completion of the Willett Ditch trail and the Centennial Trail. In 2011 the river trails were awarded the National Trail designation. We are more than grateful for their hard work in making our vision a reality.
We have accomplished a lot since our beginnings in 1986. Proceeds from events such as Riverfest and sales of memorial pavers on the River Reach Terrace have helped us continue our work on enhancing and protecting our riverine corridors. Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to place most of our activities on hold. We were very saddened to have to cancel both Riverfest and Riverglo this year. The positive side of this pandemic has been the increased number of families and individuals enjoying the trails, and the beauty of nature.
We have updated our bylaws and are moving forward to increasing our membership. We are excited to resurrect “Ripples” quarterly newsletter and are arranging speakers at our meetings on a quarterly basis. It is our purpose to fine tune our structure by establishing a vibrant organizational culture. We invite you to join us on our journey!