Restoring the Middle Rio Grande: A Community Action Plan is
a community education and outreach project with the essential
components of listening and action. The four aspects of the
project are: public awareness, community building, individual
action, and creation of a vision. The purpose is to inspire
positive and effective action for the river, with an emphasis
on communication, collaboration, and, creative problem solving.
Grande Restoration's overall objective is not only to restore
the river's biological functions, but, perhaps more importantly,
to restore people to the river. Among those concerned about
the future of the Rio Grande, most agree to the importance
of public education and participation. Rio Grande Restoration's
community action plan for the Middle Rio Grande Valley includes:
1) taking people to the river, and the river to people, through
slide show presentations, river walks, and river rides, 2)
promoting dialogue and understanding about the river, through
the dynamic of listening, and 3) inspiring creative action
by providing opportunities for individuals to become involved
in the search for and implementation of solutions.
The many groups now working to find solutions
to the myriad problems facing the Rio Grande agree about one
thing: public education and outreach is essential to these
efforts. Since 1999, Rio Grande Restoration has developed
a number of education and outreach initiatives through the
multi-year project Restoring the Rio Grande: A Community Action
Plan. During its first year, with the support of the Middle
Rio Grande Bosque Initiative, Rio Grande Restoration established
an Albuquerque office, developed a data base, and convened
River Day at the Roundhouse. Other efforts include the following
outreach initiatives: The Listening Project; Middle Rio Grande
Workshop; "Rio Grande/Great River, From Source to Sea"
slide show; Rio Grande Restoration web site; Bosque Restoration
Demonstration Project; River Advocates Training; and Bosque
Restoration is committed to continuing our outreach efforts,
and expanding on their success, through the implementation
of educational and public participation programs as described
The Listening Project is an innovative outreach
project that includes slide show presentations, involving
participants in dialogue and visioning through River Questions,
and providing opportunities for individual and group action.
The Middle Rio Grande Workshop was a day-long
workshop held in 2000 with presentations by a broad range
of groups working on issues related to the Middle Rio Grande,
including policy and action groups, restoration projects,
and technical groups, for the purpose of information sharing,
improving communication and understanding, and acknowledging
common challenges. As a result of the workshop, two follow-up
groups were formed: the San Acacia and South Forum, to address
issues and solutions specific to that river reach; and, the
Whole Pie Group, also know as the Middle Rio Grande Coordinating
Group, to develop a comprehensive federal funding request
for Middle Rio Grande related efforts.
The "Rio Grande/Great River, From Source
to Sea" slide show provides an overview of the river
from source to sea, including its social and cultural significance,
human uses and impacts, current conditions, and major problems
and their potential solutions. The slide show has been presented
at meetings of community groups, at the Bio-park and Hispanic
Cultural Center, and at a myriad of public gatherings.
The Rio Grande Restoration web site,
www.riogranderestoration.org, features educational information,
recommended resources, and action opportunities.
The Bosque Restoration Demonstration Project
includes the development and coordination of a restoration
project along the Rio Grande in downtown Albuquerque for the
purposes of public education and community participation.
(See web page on this site entitled Bosque Restoration Demonstration
Project - Public Education & Community Participation)
The River Advocates Training program is designed
to enable individuals to become further informed about the
Rio Grande and to explore complex issues and action opportunities
in greater depth. The training program includes six 2.5-hour
sessions on the following topics:
- River Grande/Great River: From Source to
Sea - slide show presentation with questions and discussion.
- Life of the Rio Grande in the Middle Valley
- historic and cultural context, current issues; upstream
and downstream perspectives with panel of featured speakers.
- Dynamics of a Desert River: The hydrograph
then and now -Overview of river dynamic (hydrology, sediment
- River Management: The institutions and their
authorities - guest speakers from Federal, State, and local
river management agencies.
- Demands on the Rio: Water needs and uses
- Panel presentations by stakeholders.
- River Vision: A call to action - Group participation,
identifying opportunities and available tools for translating
knowledge and concern into constructive action.
The training program will also involve field
trips, to include a tour of the Bosque Restoration Demonstration
Project and a River Float with attention to diversions, wastewater
treatment facilities and restoration sites.
Most recently, a Bosque Speaker's Bureau is
being designed to promote public awareness and understanding
of the issues pertaining to the bosque. The Speaker's Bureau
will provide groups, organizations, and individuals with a
more accessible means for offering informational programs
on the bosque. A brochure will be developed, identifying specific
topics for presentation and providing background and contact
information about participating entities that are actively
involved in river and bosque related issues and projects.
- Improved public understanding of the bosque,
including its ecological requirements and ecosystem services
- Improved public awareness of the diverse
issues that affect the management of the river and natural
resources along the Middle Rio Grande
- Development of educational resources for
- Opportunities for public participation and
The project is coordinated at the Albuquerque office of Rio
Grande Restoration. Programs and workshops are held at locations
throughout the Middle Rio Grande Valley.
Program work extends from Cochiti Reservoir to Elephant Butte
Reservoir, but is concentrated in the greater Albuquerque
March 1999 - April 2003
Outreach efforts for the Bosque Restoration Demonstration
continue. The River Advocates Training program has been developed;
training workshops will begin in Autumn, 2002. The Bosque
Speaker's Bureau will be operational in January, 2003.
Rio Grande Restoration
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