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This fall, the Railyard Park Conservancy (RPC) offers Santa Fe youth two ways to take a deeper look at the 11-acre Railyard Park: a Scavenger Hunt and Railyard Park Photo Contest, both designed for kids of all ages.
Two Railyard-themed Scavenger Hunts, one for younger kids and one for teens and ‘tweens, provide families with free outdoor activities designed to inspire kids to interact with nature. Younger explorers are encouraged to identify, for example, something soft, something rough, something with legs and something with wings. Older kids are asked to think critically about different gardening practices, find acequias running through the park, and name animals that live in the area. The Scavenger Hunts were created by RPC’s Children’s Committee, a group of retired educators who are passionate about getting kids outdoors. Both versions are available in English and Spanish, available in the Community Room (behind SITE Santa Fe) or on the RPC’s website: www.railyardpark.org.
Also this fall, the annual Railyard Photo Contest returns! This year’s contest is open to youth ages 8 to 18, who are invited to submit up to three photos taken in the Railyard in the category of Nature or Community, by Nov. 1. These broad categories are open to interpretation and are meant to engage powers of observation. The contest is juried by the artists and museum professionals who make up the Railyard Art Project Committee. Thirteen prize packages, including a professional print of the photo and a package of goodies from local businesses, will be awarded within two age categories: 8-12 and 13-18. To submit photos and review Photo Contest rules visit, railyardpark.org/2020-photo-contest/.
For the extra-competitive young photographer, this fall also features a photo contest hosted by one of our community partners, Santa Fe Metropolitan Planning Organization. Details can be found at their website: www.santafempo.org.
The RPC provides community stewardship and advocacy for the care, educational programming and public art in the Railyard Park and Plaza. Come take a deeper look at the Railyard Park this fall and enjoy the changing trees and get your creative juices flowing.
By Kathryn York, marketing director, and Shannon Palermo, executive director, of the Railyard Park Conservancy.
Recognizing that children, teens and families are facing increased challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Sky Center of the New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project is now offering its free and bilingual counseling services for teens and their families through remote sessions and a limited number of in-person sessions, in accordance the state public health guidelines.
The Sky Center works to address all the factors that elevate the risk of suicide among youth — lack of connection, lack of accessible resources for behavioral health care, difficulties managing moods, lack of resources for housing and food, increased family and relationship conflict — and the ways the pandemic has amplified those issues.
The Sky Center also provides school-based groups to various Santa Fe Public Schools, led by the graduate interns in partnership with the school counselors. These groups, now more than ever, focus on reconnecting youth to each other and to their schools, families and community, to help them manage their daily challenges and strengthen their support network.
For more information or to make an appointment, call (505) 473-6191 or visit nmsip.org.
By Annai Burrola, MSW, development coordinator of The Sky Center.