The FOR has helped to push a legislative bill through for rock collecting within our state parks. Bill 18.104.22.168 reads in part rock collecting is permissible in designated areas. Rocks removed shall be used as souvenirs, not for resale trade or commercial use, and rock collecting is limited to small hand tools only.
"This bill protects rock collecting for years to come," said FOR board member and founder Mary Kay Brady.
Friends of Rockhound was the brainstorm of Mary Kay and the late Jim Brady and it has grown to 80-plus members over the years. This year the group hopes to build up its membership.
"We are a very active group in promoting our local parks," in-coming president Sally Allen said. "We have alot of fun and it is so rewarding."
The hope for Spring Canyon Park - adjacent to Rockhound - is to work toward a goal of establishing handicap-accessible trails for the public to access.
"Our mission statement is to preserve, promote and protect Rockhound State Park and Spring Canyon through education and sharing," Brady said.
FOR host a number of events each year starting with their Spring and Fall Desert Alive! Native Plant Sale fundraisers. Only native plants are sold. It is a time to celebrate wildflowers, butterflies and hummingbirds along with guided walks and lectures.
During the summer months FOR brings live music and dance under the stars to Rockhound Park.
Throughout the year different speaker programs are hosted at the park. Some topics may include the history of Native Americans, birds, rocks and reptiles.
On the third Saturday of September, 1st New Mexico Bank in Deming helps sponsor the Mariachi Festival and Ballet Folkorico at the park.
In the Fall, the public can explore the dark night skies with star parties, with programs provided with telescopic views.
During the holiday season, on the second Saturday of December, Rockhound Park is lit up with 1,000-plus luminarias along with the public coming together to sing Christmas carols and enjoy hot cocoa.
The public can also enjoy a seven-circuit classical labyrinth built by FOR. A labyrinth is a walking path for prayer. Some people use the path for a walking meditation. Labyrinth's have been around for over 5,000 years and can be found around the United States and as far away as South America.
"Membership to support FOR is only $10 a year which includes one postcard per month mailed out to inform members on up and coming events and four times a year a newsletter is send out," Brady said.
For more information on FOR, call (575) 546-6182 or visit the website at www.FriendsofRockhound.org.