Posted by Jim Garrett
           The Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP) has an agreement with the Town of Pagosa Springs to build and operate three grow domes in the town’s Centennial Park on the north bank of the San Juan River, across from the Springs Resort.  In addition to the domes, the park has a small amphitheater scenically located by the water and new restroom facilities, and will be landscaped with plantings and native rocks.  
            Roberta began the presentation with a report that recent grants have supplied funding to add the two final domes to the first, which was completed in 2016.  Roberta summarized that the first of the year-round, geothermally heated domes was primarily dedicated by GGP to educational uses, with heavy involvement by the Pagosa Springs schools.  The second and third will be devoted to community gardening (with the participation of various groups) and mountain gardening innovations and research, respectively.
           With the funding for the domes already in hand, Roberta focused the majority of the presentation on the landscaping that will be undertaken this year, suggesting (as, she noted, she had previously done in a presentation to the Rotary board) the Centennial Park landscaping provided a project that could be adopted for the benefit of the community by Rotary, at least in part.  Using a sketch of the site, Roberta focused attention primarily on the perimeter area, which will include the Park’s major landside entryway leading to the pathways within, where she suggested landscaping funded by Rotary could yield “naming rights,” e.g. something along the lines of Pagosa Springs Rotary Memorial Garden.

            Roberta introduced the landscaper, Pagosan Cameron Parker, to provide the details of the potential elements of the landscaping treatment.  Cameron explained that he expected to bring in loads of large rocks or boulders quarried in the area (he estimated a total of 120 tons of stone), with which he would create “terraces” in the park where plantings including a variety of trees, shrubs and grasses would be installed.  Fruit trees would be included among the plantings, he added, and there would be benches for passers-by to pause and enjoy a moment, or longer.
           Fruit trees, he noted, would fit in with the partially experimental, “learning” aspect of the GGP effort in Centennial Park, since they would be exposed to bear and deer like all plant growth in our area.  The effort to grow them successfully, Cameron observed, could yield discovery of techniques that could be adopted by others.
           Cameron said he hoped to break ground when spring weather permits, and estimated that the landscaping might take six weeks to complete.  So potentially, it could be done, he said, by July 4th.
           Roberta suggested to the meeting that Rotary could contribute $25 thousand for the perimeter landscaping, and said that additional support might come from the Town.  Lisa Scott suggested that Rotary might put up an initial part of the $25 thousand, and then solicit matching donations.  Roberta and Cameron both said that was a good idea, with the latter opining: “Matches always work.”
            Treasurer Larry McClintock then said that “in his gut,” he believes Rotary has in hand the amount of $25 thousand Roberta suggested the club should commit for the Park’s landside perimeter landscaping.  However, he added, the Rotary board “wants to know whether Rotary members want this to be our signature project?”
            On that note, the meeting wrapped-up, with Larry’s question presumably to be answered in due course.  Dave closed the meeting with the exclamation, “Have you ever been in a small town with so much going on!”