Former rock pit will eventually become recreational area

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FARMINGTON — The City of Farmington has some new riverfront parkland near Northern Edge Casino thanks to a donation from a private company. 

Four Corners Materials, a division of Oldcastle Materials, donated 40 acres of what once was a rock pit to the City of Farmington for use as “green space and waterfront recreation,” according to a press release from the city and the River Reach Foundation.

The land, which is off Navajo 36 near the casino, runs along the San Juan River in Farmington.  

“This property fits into the city’s long term plan for the trail system along our waterways,” Cory Styron, director of the City’s Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs Department, said in the prepared release. “We greatly appreciate our partnerships with the River Reach Foundation and private donors, such as Four Corners Materials, that preserve our river corridor and make continued expansion of this project possible.” 

Styron told The Farmington Daily Times via email that the property “is part of the plan to connect the trail from the Bisti Highway to Westland Park and the western city limits of Farmington.”

The property’s use as a park won’t begin immediately. 

“The time frame for this property development is a little longer on the horizon,” Styron wrote via email. “We have not begun to develop conceptual plans or set a budget for the development at this time.”

Instead, he said, the city will focus on the trail connection from the Bisti Highway to Murray Drive, the ongoing Civic Center renovation project, construction of a water park at Brookside Park “and the North trail connection from Animas Park to the future Pinon Hills Bridge.”

“Once we have these major projects near completion we revisit this parcel and the continued development of the trail system west,” Styron wrote.

The foundation helped facilitate the land donation to the City of Farmington, the press release stated. 

“The continued donation of land and easements along our river corridor allows progress to be made in developing our river trails, and really makes a positive difference in the quality of life for our community,” said Karen Lupton, president of the River Reach Foundation.

The foundation has acquired more than 100 acres of land in grants and easements for developing recreational public use areas, the release said.

“The Foundation also hosts regular clean-up projects and events that draw in over 25,000 people to our rivers every year,” the release said. “The Foundation is always looking for ways to give back to the community and care for the rivers and trails.”

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