Boyd and Millie Brown Memorial Park
About six years ago the Town of South Fork purchased the first lot on the South East corner of the intersection of State Highway 149 and County Road 15 for the purpose of creating a gateway park. Momentum to move this project forward has greatly increased in the past two years.
First, the South Fork Chamber of Commerce started dedicating part of the funds raised at their events to the Park project. In late 2010, the Chamber donated the funds they had raised to the foundation to be placed in a designated fund for the park.
Volunteers from the community have spent several workdays cleaning up the park site. Old fences have been removed and fallen trees that have been an eye sore for years have been cleaned up. Foliage along the river bank has been cleared to allow for river access.
In 2010, Cameron Parker, a local landscape architect, donated a conceptual park design. The South Fork Kiwanis Club donated a sign designating the area as the future home of the park. Four picnic tables were purchased by GSFCF and placed near the river.
The Town of South Fork is working with the Colorado Department of Transportaion to gain access to CDOT’s land between Hwy 149 and the park. Access to this area will increase the land area for the park by almost half.
Del Norte School Store
Understanding how money works, that it is earned and then we spend it on the things we want, was the basic premise for the Tiger Bucks program that 3rd grade teacher, Amy Duda created for Del Norte Elementary School last fall. She planned to use the innovative Monopoly money style system to teach students the value of work, the art of budgeting, and the rewards of earning one’s own money. However, as the program was implemented, teachers found that students gained confidence and self esteem. They displayed improved scholastic performance, better overall behavior, and excitement and enthusiasm over their newly found self- reliance.
The Tiger Bucks Program began on the first day of school when every student was given a “job,” along with a job description and on the job training. Jobs included a Class Time Keeper, UPS Man, Class Trash Collector, Line-Leader, Caboose, etc.. Someone was designated as the Class Policeman, and the Class Fire Chief, just in case there was an emergency. Jobs were rotated on a weekly basis so students could experience different jobs.
Students learned that their jobs were inter-dependent and important to the operation of the overall class room. The Line Leader could lead the way to the cafeteria, but if the Caboose didn’t keep people moving in the line, everyone would be late to lunch. The Trash Collector’s responsibility was to have all the trash in the dumpster before the final bell, but if the Time Keeper didn’t keep the class on schedule, the Trash Collector might have to work overtime. Kids learned the importance of being dependable and responsible. They learned how their independent actions had an effect on the whole.
Best of all, when students performed their jobs, they got a paycheck! Not a real paycheck, but a Tiger Bucks paycheck that they could spend however they wanted at the GSFCF funded Tiger Bucks Store, a designated classroom in the school filled with educational games, puzzles, toys, sporting equipment, and such. Additionally, monthly activities gave them additional opportunities to spend their hard-earned funds. September provided an ice cream store where students learned that they must purchase the bowl and the spoon first, then the ice cream and the toppings.
If one did his job exceptionally well, he might be rewarded with a Tiger Bucks bonus. Extra school work could earn a Tiger Bucks bonus, as could special acts of kindness or cooperation. Unacceptable social behavior or poor scholastic performance, such as not turning in homework could cause a paycheck deduction, or even worse, a fine! Students paid rent for their desks and learned that utilities cost money too with a monthly utility bill.
Each student was responsible for keeping up with his or her own Tiger Bucks. They made their own decisions about spending all their money when they went to the store, or choosing to save up to make a major purchase at a later date. And they were warned upfront that anyone caught stealing from a classmate would lose all his money.
San Luis Valley Rio Grande Trail
The San Luis valley Rio Grande Trail will be located along the entire 180-mile course of the Rio Grande in the San Luis Valley, through multiple communities down to the Colorado-New Mexico state line. Trail Improvements will concentrate primarily within city/county, state and federal lands.
The Rio Grande Trail is a long-term commitment, which means that the project will follow an extended timeline. Cooperation with lead local, state, and federal stakeholders to study, plan, and implement specific trail cooridors will be critical to this process.
The San Luis Valley Rio Grande Trail ill be a natural surface trail designed to encourage recreational access, wildlife viewing, riparian protection, and environmental education.
- Grow a recognizable tourism and recreational destination
- Foster and promote economic growth
- Promote cooperation among communities
- Cultivate a sense of community
Benefits to the Community:
There are many social and economic benefits to having a comprehensive trail system. Currently the economy of San Luis Valley is supplemented with a healthy tourism industry, including a significant portion of recreation and outdoor enthusiasts, the San Luis Valley Rio Grand Trail wil only continue to promote the tourism industry.
Design and Implementation:
The design and implementation process will focus on accommodating a variety of users and activities, including hiking, biking, running, wildlife viewing—and will be ADA accessible within carefully calculated locations. Special attention will be given to recognizable areas with high visibility. Specifically, focus will be placed on communities and public areas with easy river access.
The key to a successful project will be to ensure compatibility through design techniques, management, regulation, and education.
The South Fork Riverwalk Town Center Plan
The Town of South Fork was incorporated in 1992 and is a young community with a very short timeline of planning and development for parks, trails and recreation. The town is adjacent to a significant stretch of Gold Medal Fishing waters of the Rio Grande River.
In 2007, the Greater South Fork Foundation, the South Fork Vision Council and the Town of South Fork raised $25,000.00 as a cash match for a DOLA Planning Grant to develop the Riverwalk Town Center Plan. In 2009, the town amended its master plan and adopted a zoning overlay and SmartCode for the town center. The Town Center Plan includes parks, trails and river front park and public access on lands that are currently privately owned. The town center code includes incentives for developers and landowners to donate park and trail land and easements. The plan also includes a pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle bridge across the Rio Grande River to improve access from the town to the opposite bank of the river and public lands. The estimated purchase price for the parks and trails land in the Town Center is $1,200,000.00.
In 2010, the GSFCF raised money to complete a survey of the bridge site across the Rio Grande River and commissioned a study by CSU students for a preliminary engineering analysis and concept design of the bridge in the Town Center Plan. The bridge cost estimate is $800,000.00 to $1,200,000.00.
In 2012, a master plan for Parks, Trails, and Recreational Amenities was completed.
The overall vision of the town is to develop an integrated network of parks, trails and riverfront access that provides a broad spectrum of active and passive recreational activities for residents and visitors. The South Fork section of the Rio Grande is a critical component of the overall potential San Luis Valley Rio Grande Recreation Area.
In the fall of 2010, the Foundation created a public interest survey to get feedback from the community regarding which activities were of the most interest to the residents of South Fork. The Foundation wanted to gather this information so that we might create classes, programs, and other projects that would serve the needs of the community. The survey asked our citizens to tell us what activities they valued most for kids, adults and for the Town of South Fork. The results are posted below and the numbers beside each of the activities represents the number of people who expressed an interest in that activity.
In the summer of 2011, GSFCF initiated computer classes, exercise classes, art classes, and a lecture series. Results from the survey are regularly used as a reference in all future South Fork plans.