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February 2024

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Photo by Claire Coté Moises, under the mentorship of Bennie Gallegos, maneuvers planter boxes to their new location in Questa Park on April 30, 2022.

April & May Community Connection Days: Productive and Fun!

Community Connection Days are collaborative, intergenerational work days supporting community action and celebration in and around Questa.

Saturday, April 30 at Questa Park was sunny, warm, and gratefully, we had very low winds; fortuitous for our first Community Connection Day of 2022! Thanks to tree transporters Councilor Jason Gonzalez and volunteer Chris Coté, seven beautiful trees awaited planting—crabapple, willow, maple, poplar, and locust. Bennie Gallegos’ tractor was in position for digging, tools and trash bags stood at the ready for clearing, planting, litter pickup, and weed removal. Despite recent high winds, willing volunteers gathered and lots of laughter was exchanged before getting to work.

This year’s volunteer clean-up effort at the park was much easier due to work done by Village of Questa public works crew, who had mowed, weed-wacked and picked up trash earlier in April. Thank you, Mayor John Ortega, for your leadership on this, along with public works supervisor John Rael and public works employees, for this maintenance. Let’s keep the momentum going!

May 14 was our second Community Connection Day, just two weeks later, at the Questa Farmers Market and Visitor Center location. Eager volunteers gathered for introductions and toured the market and visitor center grounds for clean-up and weeding instructions from Market Coordinator Gaea McGahee. Perennials to protect and weeds to remove were identified; thinned sunflowers and grasses were sent to feed Gaea’s goats, invasive weeds were bagged, and the rest added to the on-site compost bin. The site felt refreshed and nearly ready for opening weekend (Memorial Day) after a few hours of focused work. QFM youth interns will soon be planting these garden beds with local corn, squash, and other favorites.
Big thanks to all the volunteers! There were 26 at the park and 21 at the Farmers Market, a mix of kids and adults. At the park day, special thanks to our tree sponsors and tree crew leaders. At the Farmers Market, thank you to Gaea McGahee and Lori Jaramillo. Thank you also to our volunteer lunch providers and servers.

In observance of the start of summer, there will be no Community Connection Day in June. Stay tuned for other CCD events later this summer and fall.

This event was made possible by collaborators: LEAP, Questa Farmers Market, Village of Questa Clean-up and Beautification Committee, Localogy, Questa Economic Development Fund, Vida del Norte Coalition, North Central Food Pantry, Taos Bakes, and many community volunteers. Funding is provided by Chevron Grants for Good through the Taos Community Foundation as well as individual donors and tree sponsors. We thank you!


  • Claire Cote

    Claire holds a Bachelors in Fine Art and Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (summa cum laude, 2004) and a Masters in Art and Ecology from Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England (distinction, 2008). Claire's anthropological training and global travels inform her work. Her respect for the diversity of planetary ecology and the geo-socio-cultural particularities of Place are the basis for her commitment to environmental and social justice and life-long learning.