Question 5: In 2017, the Santa Fe Watershed Association celebrated its 15th anniversary for the Adopt-the-River program. What are your reflections on this stewardship activity to help take care of the Santa Fe River?
This is the exact type of program I like to support – creating community and awareness results in the accomplishments that make this City such a great place to live. With that said, there is always more that can be done. It would be good to hear from you on how you are diversifying your funding sources, so that City water division funding is positively amplified.
The Adopt-the-River program has been a great way for the Santa Fe Water Association to raise needed funds while highlighting the importance of protecting the river. It also teaches young people about stewardship and environmentalism.
The Adopt-the-River program is a great program that has removed tons of waste from our rivers. I appreciate all the people that come from all over the United States to help my hometown of Santa Fe. This program brings the community together to keep our city river clean and living. I have personally volunteered with other Santa Fe Realtors to clean the Santa Fe River from downtown all the way to St. Francis Drive. Not only did I find trash and debris, but also used needles. We need to strive to keep our river waterways clean.
You can see the difference in the dedication with the stewardships activities on how clean and safe the river has become for the citizens to enjoy. I also think it adds to the beauty of Santa Fe that brings tourism to our city.
In “Permaculture in Practice,” my monthly column in the Santa Fe New Mexican that I have written since 1999, I have praised the work of the Santa Fe Watershed Association. In one column, ‘It’s morning for a living river’ (March 1, 2015), I describe an exciting moment during one of the association’s Love Your River Days. I am always impressed with the great turnout that Santa Fe has for this annual event, and it has been very rewarding to see less and less trash in the river every year as a direct result of these efforts.
The Adopt-the-River program has been a resounding success. The moral support from businesses and non-profit organizations on behalf of river preservation, together with their financial support, has been a factor not only in the adoption of the Living River Ordinance but in the beautification of the river walk. The River Walk is now a gathering place for our citizens and tourists, and has been a boon to neighborhoods along the Alameda.
I think the Santa Fe Watershed Association (SFWA) has done about as much as it can under the administration its been handed to work with. No matter how cooperative the administrations seems to be, I look at results. I do not see a healthy river flowing year-around. Stop and go water inputs do not maintain an ecosystem. To me there is no excuse for that. No criticism of the job done by SFWA. Wonderful work! You are doing your best with the cards you have been dealt by the people making decisions. I want to change that paradigm and place the preservation of our river and natural environment as a top priority not as an afterthought. Conserving water for new development should not take precedent over taking care of our natural, historic, cultural and spiritual assets that make Santa Fe a wonderful place to live. Water is life and I want our river to live.
*Note: These questions were submitted for distribution by the individual members of the Board of Directors of the Santa Fe Watershed Association. The questions and the resulting answers are posted as they were submitted and were not edited prior to this posting. The order of the responses in the survey, were in the order that they were received by us. The Santa Fe Watershed Association does not endorse any one candidate for any of the offices being contested. The information is deemed reliable but cannot be guaranteed