New 'Dips' would provide outdoor activity for local families

By Nathaniel Evans
Posted 1/10/20

Growing up in Taos, we were always outside playing, riding our bikes from one park to the other. Inevitably, we would find ourselves at the "Dips" - the arroyos where a lot of us congregated and competed for the best trick, longest jump or best ride. It was a place we ruled, where we had to negotiate and problem-solve our own issues, a place where we grew up in many different ways.

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New 'Dips' would provide outdoor activity for local families

Posted

Growing up in Taos, we were always outside playing, riding our bikes from one park to the other. Inevitably, we would find ourselves at the "Dips" - the arroyos where a lot of us congregated and competed for the best trick, longest jump or best ride. It was a place we ruled, where we had to negotiate and problem-solve our own issues, a place where we grew up in many different ways.

These days, things are different. Parents are more involved in their kids' daily lives, and with cellphones, kids now hang out together and navigate socially online. But adults and kids keep asking me about safe opportunities to be in the physical world together. I want to bring the Dips back.

For the last couple of years, we at the town have been asking for input from the community about what we need and what we envision for the future of Taos. Two plans have come out of this: the Parks and Recreation plan and the Strong at Heart plan. Within these plans are many ideas that will benefit our community.

As a Taos council member, I will continue working to make these ideas come to fruition. One of the projects is the multiuse park at the Rock Pit at the end of the Salazar extension. This will include an 18-hole disc golf course, walking path and three-track BMX course that will go from beginner to advanced so that all ability ranges can enjoy (the new Dips!).

This area of town is where new development must occur. It is some of the last open space left in the town of Taos, and so it is critical to make sure it is developed correctly with parks, bike paths and planned neighborhoods that are balanced with the appropriate commercial use. This park will conserve open space and provide necessary opportunities for our community to get outside and enjoy the quality of life that makes Taos so special.

Disc golf is a fun, inexpensive activity that all skill levels can enjoy together. It takes a $20 investment of three discs, a putter, a midrange and a driver, and has its roots in Ultimate Frisbee and ball golf. You play a round of 9 or 18 holes, throwing the discs from tees to baskets, always hoping for that hole-in-one. In Northern New Mexico we have one of the top disc golf courses, at the Sipapu Ski Resort, but we don't have one here in Taos.

The Rock Pit has been designed to fill a specific niche in the disc golf community, which is a midrange course with specific technical holes that are fun yet challenging. The new course will bring people to Taos who will also visit our local restaurants and hotels and it will give our youth an inexpensive opportunity to go be kids and play outside.

This park at the Rock Pit will be a place the whole family can enjoy. Grandparents can play disc golf with the youngest, while teenagers race each other and the rest of the family enjoys a walk along the perimeter. This is a place that will bring our families together while providing opportunities to exercise.

I am committed to improving life for our young people, which includes getting them outdoors to play and connect with their land. Some of my fondest memories of growing up in Taos come from the times I spent outside with my friends -- the bumps and bruises, learning to overcome the big jump, problem-solving disagreements and lifelong friendships.

I believe it is my responsibility to provide opportunities so that our current youth can have these same experiences.

Nathanial Evans is a town of Taos council member.

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