The Great Outdoors Fund hosts community discussion on the Lobatos Bridge Project.

Courtesy photo About 40 people attended a listening session and dinner held on Sept. 12 in Conejos regarding a recreation plan at the Lobatos Bridge.

CONEJOS — In a collaborative effort, The Great Outdoors Fund joined forces with SLV GO!, the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, and the Bureau of Land Management's San Luis Valley Field Office to host a community dinner and conversation regarding the Lobatos Bridge Recreation and Interpretive Education Project.

The dinner meeting was held at the Parish Hall in Conejos on Sept. 12, and attended by about 40 local residents.

Lori McCullough, the founder of The Great Outdoors Fund, said the event went great and expressed her gratitude for the community's involvement. McCollough said $137,827 has been raised for the project and an additional $550,000 needs to be funded, mostly through grants that will be applied for.

The project envisions increased recreational opportunities along the banks of the Rio Grande River adjacent to the Lobatos Bridge. Included in the plans are shade structures, picnic tables, and a boat ramp.

"Engaging with the community was enlightening. We not only addressed numerous questions but also directly tackled some concerns," McCullough said.

Anyone who missed the event is encouraged to share their thoughts. Feedback and questions can be submitted directly to McCullough at [email protected].

"This isn't our project, this is the community's project," McCullough explained. "And that's why we are working so hard to gather feedback and ensure this project is something everyone can be proud of."