By Luis Guerrero, Legislative and Political Organizer, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” —John Muir
It was a beautiful morning in Southern New Mexico for a hike and remembering the importance of spending time outdoors, breathing fresh air and connecting with the beautiful landscapes of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument on Earth Day.
The hike and picnic, which was organized by the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter’s Southern New Mexico Group and Friends of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks along with the Bureau of Land Management, drew a healthy crowd of roughly 45 community members, activists, and representatives from U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján and U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, as well as state Sen. Carrie Hamblen, state Rep. Joanne Ferrary, Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Gill Sorg and Las Cruces city councilors Becky Graham and Yvonne Flores.
FOMDP led a hike to Filmore Canyon, and Bureau of Land Management led the one to La Cueva, each with about 10-15 eager hikers, while a group stayed behind at the picnic site and enjoyed time together with Sierra Club staff and other members, all while soaking in the beautiful weather of Southern New Mexico’s spring.
One attendee said she loved hearing stories about the Filmore Canyon cave and waterfalls, some of which she had never heard before. No scraped knees were reported, but many smiles!
We would like to offer a special thank-you to Gayle Eads, political chair of the Rio Grande Chapter Southern New Mexico Group, for her hard work organizing and working logistics, volunteer and member Craig Severy, Patrick Nolan with Friends of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks for co-organizing with our chapter and leading a fun and informative hike, and also the staff at the Bureau of Land Management for leading and educating throughout the La Cueva Hike.
Photos by Luis Guerrero