On Friday a celebration will be hosted at Conchas Lake Dam by the Corps of Engineers and New Mexico State Parks to mark the 75th anniversary of the New Deal programs and the 75 anniversary of New Mexico’s parks, said a Corps of Engineers spokeswoman.
“This event is for the public’s benefit, and should raise an appreciation for what the New Deal accomplished, as well as the legacy that has endured – Conchas Dam,” according to LTC Bruce A. Estok, Commander of the Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District in a press release.
Over 75 years, New Mexico State Parks has evolved from a federal New Deal initiative in 1933 to a vibrant system of 34 parks serving over four million people annually, the release said.
The State Parks are celebrating its 75th Diamond Anniversary throughout 2008 with a three-carat diamond bracelet giveaway, special events, the Geocaching Challenge, Outdoor Classroom initiatives and more.
At Conchas Dam, celebrations begin at 10 a.m. Friday at the Conchas Dam Day Use area.
What to expect:
l A New Mexico State Parks boating officers display, an exhibit, and giveaways that will deliver a special experience to the public.
l Special presentations ranging from the significance of preserving New Deal works like Conchas Dam and Conchas Lodge, to a symbolic ribbon cutting for the South Side Day Use Area and design of the future South Side Campground at the project office pavilion.
l The public is encouraged to bring their own picnic-style lunch.
Brief history of Conchas Dam project
• About 4,000 people celebrated in the streets of nearby Tucumcari the day President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress approved construction of Conchas Dam in the 1930s Sirens, horns, bands and shouting filled the air at the prospect of new jobs. New Mexico was particularly hard hit by the depression, with half of its people unemployed.
• When Conchas Dam was built under President Roosevelt’s Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, the project broke ground in the summer of 1935 and was intended to provide flood control, irrigation to water, and jobs for thousands of the unemployed. It took 2,500 men, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week for four years to build Conchas Dam.
• For 73 years the Corps of Engineers Albuquerque District has proudly served the public and called the New Mexico area home. Originally called the Tucumcari District, it was established in Tucumcari, New Mexico near Conchas Dam in 1935. After its relocation to Albuquerque in early 1942, it has been since known as the Albuquerque District.
Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers