I loved the Bosque the first time I went there, when we visited Las Cruces in February 2011. We spent an afternoon there, soaking up the sun and the beauty. Of course, we went back during our second visit to Cruces as it quickly became obvious to me that this park and the desert were to be the places I searched for my calm, thoughtfulness and reflection. As happens when people retire, I had some time on my hands and so became a volunteer at the park, but it did not stop there. I went to the park in June of 2012 to see the opening of the Camera Club exhibit. I was not a part of it but enjoyed meeting the members and made a mental note of the level of talent and expertise.
When I first started volunteering at the park, on the application form, I made note of computer skills. Well this day, at the park, the park superintendent introduced me to the president of the friends group. He immediately told me he was overwhelmed by doing the Friends newsletter and wondered if I might be interested in taking on this project. And thus, I became part of the Friends of the Bosque Group. Over the course of the next 4-5 months, I wrote and edited the Newsletter and enjoyed it. As the fall came to a close, I was asked by the staff at the park to plan the Park’s holiday festivities. With this project I was working both with the Friends and the Park and generally speaking, the day was a success. A friend of mine played Santa and posed for pictures with pets with the donation going to the Friend’s group. Over a hundred people came to the park that day and 10 pets got photos with Santa.
This is the Park Supervisor, Jan and her dog Murphy. Unfortunately he had to be put down a week after
this photo was taken due to the spread of his cancer.
These are two of countless gods belonging to our friends Bill and Clair. Obviously, they have gotten into
the spirit of the season, caroling for our entertainment.
Finally I was asked about doing a beginners class for digital photography and with several members of the Camera Club, we have completed a 6 hour workshop that also was a great success with 15 participants.
This is one of the photographs taken by a class participant
This brings me to last Saturday. The first Friend’s meeting of the year was a chance to review what was done over the course of 2012. Also there was election of a board for the group. The president entered my name into the mix and I am now the vice president of the Friends group. Then came the surprise. The president announced that they were going to give out a “Best Friend” award, in recognition of things done over the year. There were plenty of people there who have done lots of good things for the park, so I didn’t give it a second thought until the president called my name. He game me a certificate and a gift card. I was totally surprised, honored and humbled. I just felt good that I was doing something nice for the park but the recognition felt so good, that I was taken aback.
So 2013 has begun and I figure to have a very busy and great year. I will get to continue to do camera workshops at the park, the park staff have asked me to be an event planner and the friend’s newsletter and other projects call. On tap, a Native American Heritage Day and an “Accessibility Day” just waiting to be planned. I can’t wait!