DN Riverfront Project phase one complete

Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project Executive Director Emma Reesor, far right, celebrates the ceremonial ribbon-cutting with children at the Del Norte Riverfront Project Winter Solstice celebration on Friday, December 21./Photo by Patrick Shea

DEL NORTE— Emma Reesor gathered children to cut the ceremonial ribbon spanning the newly installed Del Norte Riverfront Project boat ramp on December 21.

Reesor, executive director of the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, wanted to involve children in the ceremony, a nod to the future of the park.

Sponsored by the Town of Del Norte, the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project and the Del Norte Trails Association, the ribbon-cutting featured hot cider, cookies, beer, detailed maps of the project and a roaring bonfire. 

The Winter Solstice Celebration drew a curious crowd to join Del Norte town officials and project coordinators.

According to the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project’s website, “The purpose of the Del Norte Riverfront Project is to improve recreation opportunities and access and the ecological condition of the riparian areas for fish and wildlife habitat on the Rio Grande near North Park in Del Norte.

"The Del Norte Riverfront Project will most importantly create connectivity between the communities and visitors of the San Luis Valley and the river that sustains it.”

The new boat ramp will serve as a take-out point. The put-in upstream will require maneuvering around a dam, but the route can be navigated. A picnic pavilion and other amenities will come in future phases, most notably a play-wave feature for tricky navigation.

Improved fish habitat conditions with controlled pooling will boost catches for handicapped anglers using the old dock on the opposite bank. 

For more information and plan details, visit www.riograndeheadwaters.org/del-norte-riverfront-project.html (or visit the park itself).

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