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State’s new director of outdoor recreation tours Farmington region
Future of outdoors looks bright for Farmington and New Mexico
FARMINGTON, N.M. - Newly appointed state director of outdoor recreation, Axie Navas, made an inaugural trip to Farmington on October 10 to learn more about the initiatives and efforts being made by our region to encourage outdoor recreation business. She was joined by Deputy Director Peter Mitchell and Regional New Mexico Economic Development Department representative Fred Shepherd. “We came away impressed and inspired by the work that’s been done to make Farmington a leader in outdoor recreation in the state—and throughout the West. Their forward-thinking and the resources they’ve dedicated to the area’s trails, lakes, parks, and downtown will ensure that the outdoor recreation economy becomes a cornerstone of their future,” expressed Navas. She and her colleagues were given a tour of the community to experience some of the major assets and witness the efforts in place to attract and grow outdoor recreation businesses to the region. “It was a pleasure to showcase the efforts we have made so far and the boundless assets we have to make this industry sector thrive,” said Warren Unsicker, director of ORII and Economic Development for the City of Farmington.
The tour included a working lunch with community leaders and driving and walking tours of some of Farmington’s keynote locations. “Showing Ms. Navas and her team the future focus on our trails system along the river as well as the parks we have envisioned along our trails and beyond, really generated some excitement. It’s clear we are on the right track,” stated Shaña Reeves, director of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs for the City. They were given an opportunity to view lake amenities, walk the beautiful river trails, view future sites of conceptualized parks and attractions and visit The Big Idea makerspace at San Juan College’s Quality Center for Business. “Through a variety of resources, San Juan College is excited to help bolster the City of Farmington’s work in outdoor recreation,” said San Juan College President Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass. “We strive to pursue opportunities with our partners and are pleased to be part of the vision for our community’s future.”
This is just the beginning of New Mexico’s Office of Outdoor Recreation, and the City of Farmington is glad to have had the chance to host them in their starting weeks. Mayor Duckett, Unsicker and Rachelle Crosby of the PRCA had initial meetings with Navas at the Outdoor Economics Conference in Silver City. Mayor Duckett noted, “It was clear at the summit that we were setting the bar high for outdoor recreation business attraction with the numerous references to our efforts made by the panelists.”
The City of Farmington and its partners look forward to continued opportunities to work with the State’s new Office of Outdoor Recreation. As the first community in the state to have its own outdoor recreation department, the City is excited to help lead the charge in creating an impactful outdoor economy in the state.