Though summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21, the library will be kicking off the season with the first-ever Cortez Literary Festival.
Anne Hillerman will be a featured author, with a presentation at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 7, and a Saturday morning program from 9:45-10:15 a.m. The daughter of Tony Hillerman, Anne was an arts editor and editorial page editor and writer for the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal. She initially wrote travel books focusing on New Mexico landmarks and local restaurants, sometimes collaborating with her photographer husband, Don Strel. After her father’s death, Anne continued the Leaphorn and Chee characters he had created, by incorporating them in a series of books she wrote, all of which made the New York Times Best Seller list.
Saturday’s programming will feature nine other authors discussing topics ranging from poetry to writing children’s books and historical fiction. Three special activities for kids of all ages have also been planned. Thirty book vendors will have booths, and food vendors will be on site for those wishing to purchase lunch and spend the day. Kathy Berg and Cassandra Leoncini have worked particularly hard planning this event. There is no charge to attend, so come out to welcome these authors and enjoy a day at the library.
The library’s summer reading program begins June 10. The theme is “A Universe of Stories.” Jadyn Williams created the winning design for this year’s T-shirts – you can see it on the library’s Facebook page. Participants who register for the program will receive a T-shirt and have the opportunity to take part in a “universe of exciting activities” revolving around reading!
In addition to the activities available at the library, the Parks and Recreation Department also sponsors many summer activities for all age groups. Registration is now open for the Playground Days Program, a summer youth camp for children ages 5-10. The cost is $18 per child per day and features a variety of activities to keep kids active.
Interested in taking a day trip where someone else does all the planning and the driving, and you simply enjoy the day? Check out the Rec Center offerings: In June, travel to the Farmington Outdoor Theater to see “All Shook Up!”; enjoy the Bar D Wranglers in July; take in the fall colors in September. Cost is $30 per person with one meal included. For those with a more adventuresome nature, a rafting trip is planned for July. This outing is $50 per person and also includes transportation and a meal. Contact Rec Center staff, 565-4080, for additional information or to reserve a space.
The golf course has been open for a while with many of our more hardy golfers teeing up. Now that it’s actually beginning to feel like spring, those who are fair weather golfers can at last get out and enjoy our beautifully maintained course. The outdoor pool is also ready for its grand opening on Memorial Day, so round up your swimming suits and prepare to check out the repairs and new paint job at the pool!
A wet winter and abundant rain has resulted in an especially beautiful spring with trees throughout town in full bloom. If you enjoy walking, take a stroll around the parks or downtown so that you can fully appreciate and enjoy the beautiful display – and get in a little exercise too!
School will be out soon with more kiddos out and about during the day. They aren’t always as predictable in riding and walking along the roads as we might hope, so please be especially vigilant when sharing the road. Also, this is orange cone season as well, so watch for construction areas and take it slow and easy to avoid accidents.
David Temple recently gave a wonderful presentation on the 10 best trees for our area, and Ric Plese had a most interesting program focusing on shrubs for high desert areas – programs presented in conjunction with the city’s water conservation efforts. If you were unable to attend, you can go to the city website, cityofcortez.com, and click “City Council Live Stream” to see what you missed. The city has set a goal of reducing our current water consumption of 200 gallons per person per day to 180 gallons by 2020. Given that a good portion of water used goes to landscaping, this is a good time to consider how you might reduce your outdoor watering. If you are planning a major or minor landscaping project this year, please consider choosing water-wise plants. Both Cliffrose and Four Seasons have a wonderful selection, and staff can provide valuable information to help you select the most appropriate plants for your landscaping projects. “Water Is Our Future,” and we’re all in this together to conserve this precious resource.
Karen Sheek is the mayor of Cortez, elected by Council members. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or during her office hours from 12:30-1:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.