Noah’s Ark Whitewater Rafting and Adventure Company partnered with Hispanic Access Foundation to introduce forty urban Hispanic youth to newly designated Browns Canyon National Monument in a multi-day educational program. This adventure experience included a day of whitewater rafting down Browns Canyon—the number one rafted stretch of water on the Arkansas River—and a morning playing on the Noah’s Ark Browns Canyon Adventure Park, one of Colorado’s largest aerial adventure parks. A representative from Friends of Browns Canyon taught the students about the canyon’s history, ecology, and the effort that went into making Browns Canyon a national monument.
An event in Silver City today will celebrate Colorado River Day. Its organizers hope to raise awareness about a proposal the state is considering to divert the Gila River, a tributary of the Colorado River, to Deming and other areas for agriculture and other uses. Sara Benitez, community outreach manager for the Hispanic Access Foundation, said events are to include taking high school and college-age students from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces into the wilderness along the Gila River for a first-hand look at the issue.
Friday's Colorado River Day at Gough Park was an afternoon-long event with speakers, including state Representative Rudy Martinez, D-Bayard, and Bishop Oscar Cantú of the Las Cruces Catholic Diocese. Now in its third year, Colorado River Day was organized to celebrate the Colorado River's 93rd birthday. On July 25 in 1921, Congress re-named the river from the "Grand" to the "Colorado." The Silver City event also brought a couple of activist organizations: Nuestro Rio and the Hispanic Access Foundation from Las Cruces, along with a dozen young people who were there for a weekend camping trip with Cantú.
Tomorrow, the inaugural Latino Conservation Action Week kicks off as Latinos demonstrate their passion for protecting our environment and getting outdoors. During the week, the Latino community, particularly in the Southwest, will go on hiking or camping outings, participate in community events or hold presentations designed to show their support for permanently protecting our land, water and air.