By Cindy Schultz
Special to The SUN
The month of May is Historic Preservation Month and is recognized and celebrated across the country at national and state levels, as well as in rural communities, including Pagosa Springs.
Historic Preservation Month was established in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The event is co-sponsored by preservation groups, state historical societies, businesses and civic organizations, and other heritage groups and enthusiasts.
As one of over 60 Certified Local Governments in Colorado, the Town of Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board will help celebrate Historic Preservation Month by sponsoring a student poster contest.
The competition is open to all local youth, and prizes will be awarded to the best poster in each of elementary, junior and high school age groups, with one prize for People’s Choice selected by the public.
Entries must be submitted by April 19 at 5 p.m. All submissions will be displayed at Town Hall and are eligible for voting for the People’s Choice award. The board will choose the winners by the week of April 29, with the prizes to be awarded in early May.
The theme of this year’s contest is “water in its many forms.” Entries for the competition should be on plain 11x17 paper using any artist medium and must include the student’s name, phone number, grade, homeroom teacher and school. The board will judge entries for artistic expression and creativity.
The theme is a critical one — even in years like this with the abundance of moisture in the watershed. Water is always a limiting factor in human settlement patterns and in life cycles in general.
One of the unique draws for earliest inhabitants was Pagosa’s hot spring. Native Americans inhabited the area until non-native settlers were drawn by the same powerful health benefits and eventually the area began early development as a timber outpost. The significance of the Pagosa hot spring was formalized in 1877, when President Rutherford B. Hayes issued an executive proclamation reserving 1 square mile around the springs as a townsite.
“Water in its many forms” celebrates the bounty around us and in honoring this most significant life-giving element, we celebrate the history of Pagosa itself.
For more information, please contact the Town Planning Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 264-4151, ext. 221.