Thursday, June 23, 2011

Florida Road Grand Opening

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’
Florida Road grand opening marks end of travel travails
By Jordyn Dahl - Durango Herald Staff Writer
Dylan Bettin, 6, along with Durango Mayor Christina Rinderle leads cyclists down Florida Road during the road’s grand reopening ceremony. The $17 million rebuild was the city’s the largest and most expensive publicly funded project.
Photo by JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

In true Durango fashion, Mayor Christina Rinderle led community members on a bicycle ride Monday morning along a reconstructed Florida Road for its grand reopening. About 30 people showed up for the ride that started at 10:45 a.m. in Mason Park and ended at Chapman Hill, where a red ribbon and free barbecue from JBo’s awaited attendees.

More community members showed up to witness the ribbon cutting, which – to Rinderle’s dismay – caused a short detour on the road for the ceremony. Rinderle quickly invited city councilors, former Durango Mayor Michael Rendon and all the children in attendance to cut the ribbon with her so the road could be reopened to traffic. “I’m so proud of this road and so thankful that it’s done,” she said.

Florida Road features 5-foot bike lanes and a sidewalk on either side of the road for pedestrians.


City Manager, Ron LeBlanc (left), looks on while a local dignitary waxes on.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Echinocereus is a genus of ribbed, usually small to medium-sized cylindrical cacti, comprising about 70 species from the southern United States and Mexico in very sunny rocky places. Usually the flowers are large and the fruit edible. Extremely hardy, these cacti all thrive in our Durango garden. Some more than thrive, they show-off!

Fendler's Hedgehog Cactus
Echinocereus fendleri

Bailey's Lace Cactus
Echinocereus reichenbachii v. baileyi

White Lace Cactus
Echinocereus reichenbachii v. albispinus

Green Hedgehog Cactus
Echinocereus viridiflorus

Photos and Plants courtesy of Lisa Bourey

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

La Plata es Oro

Hats off to Jim Davis (County Engineer and Director of La Plata County Public Works), Doyle Villers (Road Maintenance Superintendent), Shawn Nau (County Manager) and everyone at the La Plata County Public Works Department for making La Plata County roads safer for cyclists. So next time you spot a dangerous road condition, go to the La Plata County website to let them know - and make the road safer for the next person.

La Plata County Rated #1 On New Reporting Website “See Click Fix”
Release Date: Jun 8 2011

Durango, CO - In April of 2011, La Plata County launched the web based “SeeClickFix” reporting website, designed to efficiently connect citizens with their local governmental agencies to report non-emergency road related issues. Out of the 366 governmental agencies utilizing the site, La Plata County is rated as the highest performer in percentage of items fixed and the number of days it has taken to resolve the reported issues. "SeeClickFix" is another communication tool that the public can use to alert the County Public Works Department of public safety or maintenance issues impacting our county roads. Most comments have been relevant and about issues that we can address," said Jim Davis, Director of La Plata County Public Works.

The online site, “SeeClickFix”, allows citizens to report county road maintenance, damage or other minor issues quickly and easily with the help of Google maps. The La Plata County Public Works Department is responsible for the maintenance of 686 miles of county roads, which includes 196 miles of paved and 490 miles of gravel roads. Some of the typical services provided include winter and summer road maintenance, maintenance of drainage facilities and structures, roadside mowing, sign installation and maintenance, and annual striping of roads.

Please note La Plata County is not responsible for roads that are private, within the city limits of Durango, Bayfield or Ignacio or State Highways.

To use the new online reporting tool, residents are encouraged to please visit the La Plata County website. Citizens can also download an app for their Blackberry, iPhone, or Android phone to participate in the program.

Typical comments focus on the following items:
• Signs
• Vegetation Blocking View
• Road Damage
• Drainage
• Pot Holes
• Traffic Flow
• Roadside Hazard
• Debris on Road
• Speed Limits

For more information, please contact the Public Works Department at (970) 382-6363

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Fremont's Clematis or Fremont's Leather Flower
Clematis fremontii

After a record-setting frigid winter, followed by a cold, dry and windy Spring, warm weather has come to Durango at long last and our plant world has sprung to life. The general unpleasantness of Durango's Spring 2011, is best described by our local Agriculture Extension Agent Darrin Parmenter:

"I would have to say that this last April (and so far the first week of a snowy May) was one of the most unappealing and forgettable “springs” on recent record. After a lovely – but dry – March got us all excited about the garden and landscape, April literally blew in some crummy weather. The winds were relentless (multiple days with gusts over 40 mph), the precipitation was sporadic, the skies – especially on the weekends – were gray, and to top it all off, the last week of April was quite cold."

One method used by Weather Underground to compare temperatures from year to year is called “growing degree days,” the amount of accumulated heat required for plants to flourish. Growing degree days are calculated by adding the highest and lowest temperatures each day, dividing by two and subtracting 50, a base temperature. The higher the number, the warmer it was. The average growing degree days for Durango in April & May 2009, 2010 and 2011 were 229, 107 and 79, respectively. So, let's hear it for the bonus "growing degree days" we've just recently enjoyed!

Beehive Cactus
Escobaria vivipara

Blue Penstemon
Penstemon cyaneus
Banana Yucca
Yucca baccata

Claret Cup
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
Sonoran Live Oak
Quercus turbinella

Photos and Plants courtesy of Lisa Bourey