NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Check out these announcements about unique opportunities to participate in the transformation of YOUR Urban Wildlife Refuge.
coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
While there are many uncertainties surrounding the Coronavius outbreak (COVID-19), we are dedicated to the health and safety of our members, partners, supporters and employees of the Friends of Valle de Oro NWR and the Refuge we support. It is our goal to protect and maintain a healthy environment at Valle de Oro NWR, and in our surrounding community, for both wildlife and people.
We have taken action to abide by the orders from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the NM Department of Health, including cancelling public gatherings, meetings and events from the end of March through at least April. We appreciate your flexibility as we continue to monitor this fluid situation and make determinations beyond April as we learn more.
At this point, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge remains open to the public, and we encourage you to visit the Refuge as a way to get outside and maintain activity, while also practicing social distancing and in groups less than 5 individuals. The roads throughout the Refuge are wide enough to allow for passing other individuals at a safe 6-foot distance. Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is an amazing green space for our community, and we are proud to have had a hand in protecting this space for the benefit of wildlife and people. We are glad that at this time, the property is still open, however, this status may change if mandates from the State evolve with this crises.
We will continue to keep you informed on the Refuge’s status. Before your visit to the Refuge, be sure to check http://www.fws.gov/refuge/valle_de_oro/ for the most up to date information on the Refuge's status.
The livelihood of the Friends and its support of the Refuge and our collaborative programming is rooted in our community engagement and spring fundraising events. With the decision to postpone these events, we are in need of your support now more than ever. Please consider making a donation to the friends if your circumstances allow. Through increased individual donations during this tough time, we will be better able to support programs throughout, and after, the crises when we will all be craving time wiht our community in nature. Visit www/friendsofvalledeoro.org/donate to learn more about the impact of your donations and make an online donation. Or consider upgrading your annual membership to a livetime member, becoming a member for the first time, encourage friends and families to support the Friends, or renewing your membership early!
Announcing our Opening Doors to Nature Education Scholarship Winner!
We are so excited to announce, and introduce you to this year's Opening Doors to Nature Education Scholarship Recipient. Olivia Martinez began her conservation career early in her life as an elementary school student participating in BEMP (Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program) and then joining Rocky Mountain Youth Corps at the age of 16, first in tree and trail crews and then as a Youth Ambassador for Valle de Oro NWR in the 2018-2019 season. Olivia knew from a very early age that conservation was something she wanted to do for the rest of life, so she shaped her career goals around her passion for the environment. She is a freshman at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO studying Environmental Science. As Olivia puts it, "I have chosen to study environmental science because of the variety the field has to offer. I could do lab research, field studies or data oriented work, allowing me to forever be amused. I also hope to use my knowledge of the Southwest to better Native American and Hispanic communities. As Native people we have a very strong connection to the land that surrounds us... I hope to be a catalyst for Native, Mestizo and Hispanic youth so they can understand the lands that surround them and work towards a healthier future for our indigenous lands."
Please join us in congratulating Olivia! For your change to meet Olivia, be a part of our official scholarship award ceremony, and to raise funds for next year's Opening Doors to Nature Education Scholarship, consider joining us at the Friends of Valle de Oro NWR's Golden Gala: Restoring Nature in our Backyards on Saturday, October 26th, where together we can make a difference in the lives of our future conservation stewards!
Check out copies of the Friends of Valle de Oro Golden Gazette Newsletters and news articles featuring the Friends of Valle de Oro NWR and the Refuge we all love and support!