We started our next podcast yesterday when I interviewed Jan Kirwan at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. A most interesting park, Mesilla Valley Bosque is soon to celebrate its second anniversary ... taking time to learn how best to serve the public. There is, of course, the nature story. The park has trails along the river and farther back in a drier part of the flood plain. I hiked both and found tracks of things we commonly see ... lizards, stink bugs, and birds. But then I found tracks of raccoon and javalina. There are beaver living near the park. I didn’t see their tracks but found a tree they had gnawed through. And one of the park rangers has photographed a bobcat. This is a great place for birders to see many of the 213 species that have been identified in the park or migrating through. I was treated to the sight and sound of a high-flying flock of sandhill cranes.
Besides nature, Mesilla Valley Bosque is developing events that teach about and demonstrate our culture. Rangers are centering this “mission” in their Time Travelers program, a living history event developed and run by Dr. Jon Hunner of NMSU. His college students don period costumes and play roles to teach 5th to 12th grade students about local history. It’s not all talk. Participants get to learn how to make tortillas, adobe and how to do the laundry without a washing machine. They learn arts and crafts like beading and are led in Native American dances by members of the Tortugas pueblo.
Saturday, December 4, marks the parks second anniversary and you can take part in Centennial Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. The Time Travel date is 1912 as participants celebrate New Mexico’s 100th year as a state. Come on out and meet people from a century ago ... even President Teddy Roosevelt.
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park can be reached by taking Highway 359, Calle del North, in Mesilla ... right across Highway 28 from The Bean. Drive about 2 miles to the Rio Grande and, as soon as you cross the bridge, turn left into the park’s drive. There is a $5 per car park fee.
Posted by Bud Russo