Happy Spring! My answering machine says, “It’s another wonderful day in Durango and we’re lucky to live here.”
I haven’t changed my opinion since 1974 when I first drove into Durango. Our unique mountain community with agrarian roots, Western heritage, first-rate schools, Fort Lewis College, diverse populations, a vibrant downtown, recreational amenities, trails, public lands, cobalt-blue skies and great weather make us proud to call Durango home.
More than all of those qualities, our community has kind volunteers who walk dogs, give of their time to nonprofits, ring bells, stack books at the library, participate on boards for the city of Durango and contribute for the good of us all.
The city of Durango is a good steward of the purchased land that surrounds our town. With the 2005 sales tax, the city bought land and open space. A trail system was developed to be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. Walkers, hikers and bikers can be on the Animas River Trail or in the woods at Horse Gulch or Twin Buttes in a matter of minutes.
With the opening of Lake Nighthorse, a long awaited dream is happening. Fishing and boating within two minutes of downtown add to the opportunities for our mountain town. The water storage in Lake Nighthorse will serve our grandchildren well into the future just as the old timers envisioned. I give praise to Fred Kroeger and the many others who sought water storage during the last six decades. Their visions are our reality.
Living and working in Durango is sometimes a challenge. The cost of housing, lack of child care and livable wages is nothing new in 81301. The City Council has approved more housing, works as a partner with Housing Solutions for transitional housing, provides funding to United Way for block grants to assist Axis Health System, La Plata Youth Services, Durango Food Bank, Salvation Army, Durango Adult Education Center, Southwest Center for Independence, Volunteers of America’s shelter and safehouse, Business Improvement District Ambassadors and many more.
The council and the county commissioners voted to fund a strategic plan and homeless coordinator to garner resources to assist the local homelessness problem facing communities from Grand Junction to Houston. There are no quick or easy answers to this nationwide problem.
Even with transportation challenges, Durango remains a center for business development, artists, musicians, construction workers, plumbers, electricians and working folks, all contributing to the fabric of our town.
You and I love Durango. I’ll see you at the grocery store, please say hello and don’t hesitate to ask me a question. Happy Trails!
Sweetie Marbury is the mayor of Durango, a position rotating among members of City Council. Reach her at email@example.com.