On Stands Now
July 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Photo by Claire Coté Egypt carrying the Maple tree to its new home in the park, with Lupe in the background, ready to help.

Tree Planting Day Success!

By Claire Coté

The day dawned bright and sunny on Friday, July 16. Seven beautiful trees lined the east wall of the Cisneros Youth Center in Questa, standing tall in the sunshine awaiting planting; crabapple, maple, ash, poplar, and hackberry—all donated and sponsored to honor loved ones and beautify our park. Despite the rising heat of the day, 43 willing volunteers at the Questa Youth Center: 17 adults and 26 youth gathered in a circle, “checking-in” together before getting to work.

The mission of this third Community Connection Day was to plant these trees together. And plant them we did, with all hands on deck, bringing the number of new trees planted in the park this year to fourteen! Special thanks to Benny Gallegos, Richard Holmes, Rachel Kuc, Maria Gonzalez, and Chris Coté for inclusive youth mentorship during the tree-planting process. Thank you also to Cristina Masoliver who played her “Los Flamencos” puppet show to conclude our morning work, and to the Questa Economic Development Fund for sponsoring the delicious lunch provided by Wendy Medina and Alex Romero of Evelyn’s Treats.

Community Connection Days are intergenerational days of community service and celebration, taking place in and around Questa, May through October 2021 on the third Friday of each month. Showing up for one another and our community is part of ongoing “creative placemaking” efforts in our area, and is made possible by these collaborators: Vida del Norte Coalition, LEAP, Localogy, Taos Behavioral Health Questa SUCCESS Center, Village of Questa, Questa Economic Development Fund, Questa Farmers Market, and community volunteers. And thanks also to the Questa Del Rio News for ongoing support.

Photo by Maria Gonzalez Sunshine Wood of southern Colorado helps plant the Crabapple tree sponsored by their family for her late daughter Heather Marie Fenstermacher-Taylor.


  • 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.

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