As community champions for the “turtleback trails network,” we thought it would be a good time to clear some misperceptions about developing a concept plan for trails and river access along the Rio Grande.

 The Turtleback Trails Network is for our community. When the concept plan is adopted and implemented by local governments and partners, we’ll have created a natural footpath connecting Truth or Consequences to Williamsburg on the other side of the Rio Grande that could become part of the Rio Grande Trail, we’ll have finally improved the river access sites for private and commercial use, and we’ll have a designated trail system for walking, running, and mountain bicycling. This project is about our quality of life – for recreation and health. And, if it attracts more visitors, then our local businesses benefit too.

 The city of T-or-C and the Village of Williamsburg obtained National Park Service support in developing this concept plan in 2019. We established a project steering committee and working groups to begin understanding community issues and opportunities. Great ideas are emerging! Everyone can have a voice in how this plan comes together.

In a similar but separate project, the city of T-or-C received a planning grant entitled “Riverwalk” to look at the economic impact of improving areas along the Rio Grande and potential needs for infrastructure construction. The engineering firm Wilson and Company entered into a contract with the city to accomplish this work. 

As the two efforts move forward, all parties are committed to working together to help our communities benefit from these planning efforts. The timing is right for these projects, as there is increased awareness, emphasis and funding opportunities for outdoor recreation and tourism across New Mexico.

s/Merry Jo Fahl,

Jornada RC&D

s/John Masterson,

T-or-C Brewing Co.

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