Ripples

The Official Newsletter of the River Reach Foundation

 

November 2021

 

SAVE THE DATE!

RIVERGLOW 2021

December 3, 2021 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Once again we can discover Farmington’s holiday spirit along the Animas River! Be sure and join us on the River Reach Terrace at Berg Park for our annual Riverglo event hosted by the River Reach Foundation. The free, family friendly music venue is composed of local carolers, a live nativity scene, and Santa Claus. Enjoy the lights, night sky, and festive music as you walk along the Animas River trail lined by luminarias between Archway Court and the Courtyard by Marriott hotel. On the River Reach Terrace children of all ages can visit Santa Claus located next to the Christmas tree. Purchase hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and popcorn for just $1.00 each. There will also be several holiday trinkets for sale. Visit a live nativity scene hosted by the Northside Church at the Overlook Terrace on your way to Archway Court.

RIVERGLOW 2021 MUSIC SCHEDULE

Archway Court

6pm – Heights Middle School

7pm – Farmington High School

Courtyard by Marriott

6pm – Piedra Vista High School

7pm – Caliente Choir

Little Pavilion

6pm – Country Club Elementary

7pm – Ladera Elementary

Animas River through Cedar Hill

Penny Lane put-in

Outdoor Recreation Trails + Grant

In August, the Foundation applied for the Outdoor Recreation Trails + Grant through the Outdoor Recreation Division of the NM State Economic Development Department. Our project is to promote the rivers as safe and enjoyable recreational destinations by providing additional signage at put in locations that will define river information and rules, mapping information and hazardous areas between access points. We requested $19,074.00 and were awarded that amount. The money will be used to design and purchase eight informational signs located at put ins along the river. Two warning signs will be located at the Animas diversion dam near Westland Park and at the rapids near Penny Lane. In addition, there will be six signs installed naming various bridges that cross the river. We are extremely grateful to the City of Farmington as they will be doing an in-kind match by installing the signage.

The President’s Corner

D’Ann Waters

Fall is here and winter is just around the corner and the River Reach Foundation has been super busy. Our new web page for the Foundation has been launched. RiverReachFoundation.com is now so much easier to navigate, so be sure and check it out. It contains a lot more information about the Foundation and has many new useful links. Be sure and subscribe to the newsletter on the webpage.

Before we know it, planning for Riverfest 2022 will begin. Riverfest 2022 will be held May 27th through May 29th. Thanks to Ken Collins Marketing, our new Riverfest webpage is up and running! Check out the new site: riverfestnewmexico.com! All the information on Riverfest 2022 will be posted on that site. As promised, each Riverfest event has its own page making it easy to not only learn more about the event but also how you can participate. Most of the forms are already up and running, and as we continue to work with the SERRI group to make Riverfest better than ever, more information will be posted. Check out riverfestnewmexico.com!

In September Zia Drones Operations completed the videos of our Riverine Corridor. They have provided us two wonderful videos of the river, both set to calming music. One video is about five minutes long and takes in all of Berg Park. The other video is about one hour long and videos the river from Penny Land in Flora Vista all the way to Westland park. Both of these videos can be accessed through our websites.

OUR MISSION AND VISION

The Board of Directors met early this month and added our vision to our mission statement. Our mission statement is: The River Reach Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the Protection, Promotion, & Enhancement of Farmington’s riverine corridors. Our Vision is a healthy natural habitat for all life along the river.

In our effort to promote partnerships for repairs, environmental expansion and development of the riverine corridor, we plan on focusing on the following: a clean river, public education, watershed support, partnership with the city, accessibility, appropriate development, permitting efforts, and safety.

What we hope to avoid is too much unnatural development along the riverine corridor. While development and expansion is, to a certain extent, to be expected, we don’t want to see the natural habitat that makes our park so unique and beautiful ruined. Other areas that we hope to avoid are river congestion, pollution, and inappropriate feeding of the animals.

Another area that the board addressed is a proposal to assist the City of Farmington Parks Division in reforesting the area west of the Nature Center which has undergone extensive invasive species removal. There is more information on this proposal on the next page under the heading of “Special Projects” and we are excited to get started!

Other News

SPECIAL PROJECTS

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.

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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