At the November monthly board meeting, the River Reach Foundation voted to accept a proposal to assist the City of Farmington Parks & Recreation Dept. in reforesting the area west of the Nature Center which has undergone extensive species removal. The perceived benefit of the project is that it will improve the riverine habitat.
The scope of the project is to fund the purchase of a number of trees that would be replanted in the area. The trees would possibly include oak, cottonwood, and NM privet or others with input from the Riverside Nature Center and the San Juan Watershed Group. The estimated investment by the RRF is expected to be between $4,500 and $6,500.
It is also the intention of the RRF to work with the marketing team to possibly develop a program for people and businesses to purchase trees for both memorial purposes or to promote local businesses. These would be acknowledged by either a plaque located near the Nature Center or a sign placed along the trail.
TOSS NO MOSS VS DON’T LITTER
Did you know that 85% of litter comes from individual values and only 15% of the litter comes from lack of trash cans? The largest amount of litter are cigarette butts that are not biodegradable. Also, research has found that the attitude and ethics of adults who litter probably will not be changed by any promotional slogans, signage, or programs. What is needed is education of the younger generation about the results of litter on both the environment and animals. For that education to be effective the message needs to be positive
and consistent. Also, people need to hear the message seven times before it is effective.
One of the forums at the Outdoor Recreational Conference addressed several suggestions on how to educate people (youths especially) about the problem of litter. One suggestion addressing this question was to promote clean-up sessions at the river by taking on a project of “Adopt a Spot” instead of just signage and general cleanup. This might be a useful educational event geared to schools, their extracurricular groups, and to local organizations. Another suggestion was the possibility of providing trash bags along the trails in addition to poop bags. A third suggestions was creating a dedicated marketing approach using various educational events and providing positive signage language such as “Plastic – Refuse, Reduce, Recycle.”
OUTDOOR ECONOMICS CONFERENCE AND EXPO TAKEAWAYS
The Outdoor Economics Conference & Expo was held Oct. 27th through the 29th at the Civic Center. Nearly 300 people from around the state attended which gave Farmington more exposure and showcased our outdoor and recreational opportunities and businesses. It also showcased how central Farmington is to many other outdoor opportunities such as Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, and the Bisti Badlands, thus promoting a more play and stay atmosphere.
The River Reach Foundation was one of several major sponsors of the event and monitored a booth at the conference. In addition to offering several free give-away items, we premiered our two videos of the Riverine corridor which attracted a lot of people and received numerous positive comments. Several of our Board members attended the conference forums and gained a lot of useful information as a result. Creating our Vision Statement is one of those take-aways from the forums.
Some other informational topics that we found very useful involved the importance of shared visions, knowing your visitors, and infrastructure. When addressing shared visions it is important to know that everything is based on trust and the importance of bringing everyone to the table when implementing new ideas.
Knowing your visitors and who they are is also important. In today’s world social media, Google often plays an important part in your visitor’s planning. 90% of your visitors will Google your event or city before making plans to visit. They are going to be looking for photos of the area, the hotels, the recreational opportunities, and events before making the final decision to come and stay awhile. Marrying your outdoor activity to where to stay is important. It is the hook to making your visitors want to come and stay for a period of time.
When addressing infrastructure, the forum panelists stressed the importance of planning ahead for success. It is important to think about the system you are creating and how it will affect the economics of your residents and their work.