Take time to clean up Pagosa Springs before summer events

SUN Columnist

How do we manage stress these days? Dig ourselves deeper into more commitments? Yell at family and friends? Take a long hike or a cross country ski or snowshoe outing, or take a ski or boating day?

Everyone handles stress differently, but the fact is we can’t get away from stress — it is part of our lives. We should learn how to manage it — not let it manage us.

Baring any unforeseen storms next week, the Dancing With Stress/Managing Overwhelm Seminar will take place Thursday, March 21, from 4 to 7 p.m. This first session in a three-part Women’s Series will be held at The Springs Resort and Spa in the EcoLuxe Building. The tickets are $7 and this price includes two great speakers, some networking time and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. There will also be a cash bar with specials available.

Is there really anything I can learn by attending a seminar like this, and what would it do for me?

One of the speakers, Dr. Nicola St. Mary, deals in her practice with women who are facing stressful challenges in their life and health. Throughout her medical school career, she focused on positive health with a variety of organizations including an HIV wellness organization, a women’s domestic violence abuse shelter and a Body Positive clinic working with the Latino community. Since moving to Durango, St. Mary co-founded Open Sky, a wilderness therapy program for young adults and adolescents coping with a variety of issues including eating disorders, drug abuse and depression. Today, St. Mary’s practice focuses on mental health issues from insomnia to eating disorders to anxiety.

Her talents and passion are to empower people to handle stress through small steps to achieve success in healing themselves. She even likes to talk about “The joy of stress.”

Most people know Puja Parsons as one of the co-owners of Growing Spaces, Geodesic Growing Domes here in Pagosa Springs. However, what many people don’t know about Parsons is that she obtained extensive knowledge of wellness techniques in the corporate world prior to coming to Pagosa — back when wellness in the workplace was a foreign concept. As a holistic educator, she became involved with the nutrition and the organic food movement. She is trained in aikido and used this technique as the basis for conflict resolution trainings in the corporate world. As a music, massage and art therapist, Parsons uses somatic education and meditation techniques to encourage self-awareness and self-mastery. She will show participants steps they can take to help themselves through difficult situations and consciously “shift” the stressful moment.

This will be an interactive and engaging seminar. There is limited seating available, so reserve your space now by calling the Chamber at 264-2360 or go online to www.pagosaspringschamber.com and purchase your tickets. We look forward to helping women of all ages, with all degrees of stress involvement as well as those looking to broaden their awareness of health practices.

Taking pride 

Having just returned from a short respite at a beach community, which is also a tourism-based locale, I was struck by the cleanup work that was occurring.

A part-time resident told me there was a huge celebration coming at the end of the month of March, when tens of thousands of people descend on this town. For a month prior, the community works hard at “getting the place ready.” This readiness includes cleaning up storefronts, highway medians and, unfortunately, to a lesser degree, the beach.

Hearing about this clean-up effort, I remembered I should remind our community that, as soon as mud season is over, Pagosa will be host to a summer full of activities.

One will be Ride the Rockies, which will bring cyclists along U.S. 160 from Durango to Pagosa and over Wolf Creek Pass. If you are a member of a group that has adopted a portion of the highway, please put on your work calendars now to perform some road cleanup the weekend of June 8 or the week prior.

Unfortunately, the highways don’t stay clean for long, so please time your cleanups as close to the event as possible.

Another event to keep in mind is the Car Show in Pagosa which is the first big event for our community. This is a perfect time to get out there after the mud has cleared and get our community spruced up. The Car Show will be held May 17-18, so cleanup should take place prior to this event. Thanks to the efforts of the county and town, other clean-up efforts will also be in process.

During Earth Day Celebrations on April 20, which will be held in Town Park, why not take a group of children down along the river and clean up our heavily-used resource? I can tell you from experience that our “beach” at the Visitor Center in the summer is laden with trash and it requires a daily pickup patrol. Take a minute to say thank you to the San Juan River for providing us with seasons of fun and economic impact and give back by taking care of the river we all use.

Look at the exterior of your business. Could the awning get a power wash, do the windows just need cleaning, would a little touch-up paint help? This year, the Chamber building will be going through a major clean-up with repairs, new paint and new paint colors. Make sure you add a little money in your business budget to keep your building fresh and inviting. Order some hanging baskets or pick up some flower pots from one of our local nurseries and say “welcome” to the public. Nothing is more inviting to the consumer than a fresh, clean business, not a cluttered, rundown facade. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but a little less clutter can go a long way.


We have two new members who joined the Chamber this week.

All About You Day Spa and Oxygen Bar in the Talisman Point shopping center pampers locals and visitors with a full-service spa, and their new aromatherapy oxygen bar is designed to offset the effects of high-altitude sickness.

Dan and Jared Wirth became new owners of Village Interiors Carpet One after their mom and dad retired. They are committed to carrying on the family tradition of serving this community with the same emphasis on customer satisfaction, quality products and pride in a job well done.

We have several renewing members this week: AAA Colorado, San Juan Sky Outfitters, Bayfield Gardens, Alpen Haus Ski Center, Step Outdoors, Archuleta County Republican Women, Flying Dutchman, HTI Builders, Pagosa Fire Protection District, High Country Lodge, Abba Eye Care, H & R Block, Harms Photo/Graphic Associates and SelecPRO School Photography, Mountain West Insurance, Pagosa Springs Family Medicine, Rainbow Gift Shop, San Juan Veterinary Hospital, Source for Pagosa Real Estate, and St. Francis Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation. Individual associates renewing this week include Ray and LaQuita Johnson and Buddy and Siri Schuchardt.

This story was posted on March 14, 2013.