City approves grant for another 12 months

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At the city council meeting Monday night, health promotion specialist with the Department of Health Nadine, Ulibarri-Keller, spoke to council members about a grant the city of Socorro has with the DOH. City Clerk Pat Salome said the community transformation grant was awarded last July, and it’s a five year arrangement. The city is in the second year of the grant, and each year, the city sets new goals and objectives, Salome said.

The grant is to expand opportunities for healthy eating and active living for children. Ulibarri-Keller said she wants schools to look at nutrition. Salome added the city wants to promote healthy life-styles for kids. The Parks and Recreation program is offering fitness programs for children after school, to continue to stay healthy and active. Ulibarri-Keller also wants schools to consider using local fresh fruits for school meals to promote healthy eating. Council members approved the grant for the next 12 months.

“With or without the grant, we want to focus on more activities,” Salome said. “Exercise is a way of life,”

During the public forum, Festival of Cranes Coordinator Michael Hanauer thanked the city of Socorro for sponsoring the festival.

The festival is in its 25th year, and takes place at the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Salome said the event was originally one day, and now it’s a week.

According to Hanauer, over 6,000 people have pre-registered for the Festival of the Cranes, and last year, 5,500 to 7,700 people attended the event. This year, the event will have eight days encompassing 110 activities, from Nov. 11 to 18. Forty percent of the activities are community related, he said, and 60 percent are bird or Bosque related. Fifty-six percent of the people who attend the Festival of the Cranes are from New Mexico, Hanauer said. Mayor Ravi Bhasker suggested to Hanauer ways to increase revenue for the event such as charging people for parking, and Hanauer said currently the Friends of the Bosque are raising prices for some items to raise the revenue.

“The festival is a beautiful event for our community and we appreciate it,” Hanauer said. “People come to Socorro for this.”

Also in the public forum, Pilot Dave Phillips, Commander of Socorro’s Civil Air Patrol Dave Finley and event organizer Laura Haines told council members how successful the ‘M’ Mountain Fly-in was on Saturday, Sept. 29. Phillips estimated 800 to 1,000 people attended the event.