By Dorothy Elder | Staff Writer
The Combined Parks and Recreation Advisory Board announced at its March 3 meeting that Pagosa Springs has earned designation as a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The process for recognition started after the forest department approached Darren Lewis, Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation director, last year to inform him about the program and suggest Pagosa Springs apply, Lewis explained. After that, the town council approved to move forward with the application.
According to the program’s website, the Tree City USA program provides communities with a four-step framework to maintain and grow their tree cover. It also gives them an avenue to celebrate their work, showing residents, visitors and the entire country that they’re committed to the mission of environmental change.
“It’s a pretty cool designation,” Lewis said.
At the same meeting, the board unanimously approved its short-term and long-term goals.
Its short-term goals are to improve river access, the Riverwalk and parking lots for all parks, develop Yamaguchi Park South, work on phase two of the Town-to-Lakes Trail connectivity project and expand the skate park into an action park suitable for many different types of sports equipment.
Its long-term goals are to create a recreation center for both the town and the county, explore funding mechanisms for parks and recreation improvement and development, create more town and county trail connectivity, and continue town and county growth development for parks.
In other business at the meeting, it was noted Lewis has received one bid for the request for proposals for the construction of eight pickleball courts at Yamaguchi Park South. He stated that he’ll bring that bid to the Pagosa Springs Town Council on March 17.
Lewis also announced ice skating is no longer available at the River Center Park pond and South Pagosa Park.