Could Durango Connect get an extension?

Organizer spurs talk about making the celebration an annual event

Durango Connect recently celebrated the completion of the Animas River Trail by inviting residents of Durango hold hands together on the trail. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

Durango Connect recently celebrated the completion of the Animas River Trail by inviting residents of Durango hold hands together on the trail.

An estimated 9,000 people linked hands Sept. 27, but whether Durango Connect will get an encore is a mass shrug of the shoulders as officials are non-committal about making it an annual event.

Because he has gotten so many inquiries about another Durango Connect, organizer Jack Turner posed the question in a mass email to community leaders, but he emphasized that he was trying to spark only a discussion and nothing else.

Im not the lone ranger advocate on this, Turner said.

Cathy Metz, director of parks and recreation for Durango, deemed Durango Connect a big success, but she said the city considered it a historic and one-time event.

Durango Connect celebrated the Animas River Trail becoming contiguous for seven miles for the first time this year.

Metz said the city would continue to celebrate other milestones of the river trail in the future, but the city probably will look for new ideas. The trail will continue to grow at its northern and southern ends and possibly make connections to other trails, too.

Because nothing has been formally presented to Durango School District 9-R, spokeswoman Julie Popp said the district could not confirm whether it would participate again.

9-R provided much of the manpower as more than 6,000 schoolchildren are estimated to have participated.

Hand-holders were so well-behaved that Durango Police Lt. Ray Shupe said the police did not have to make any arrests or respond to any lost children.

Turner was not aware of any problems, either.

Im prejudiced, but everyone I know had a good time, he said.

jhaug@durangoherald.com

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