Earth Day at R Park

On April 22nd, 2016 R Park celebrated Earth Day in partnership with Jackson, Wyoming’s Journeys School. Fifteen of their high schoolers showed up with work gloves ready to work and “liberate the trees” as one of them explained.

Let Jack, CeeCee, Griffin, and Rainer tell you about their day in this 40 second video.

While reclaiming the former gravel-pit into a natural park its nonprofit owner and steward, Rendezvous Lands Conservancy, has planted grasses, wetlands, shrubs, and tree groves. To protect the saplings from moose and beavers fencing was essential.

After having removed almost 100 yards of fence one of the volunteers concluded,

I feel accomplished…working on something like this. It sounds kind of cliche, but it’s really true.

Many thanks to the Journeys School for their hard work! The Journeys School is an independent school that integrates ecology, culture and community for Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade students in a college preparatory setting.

We seek volunteers to help in ways that are meaningful and rewarding to them—install and repair signs, maintain trails, and/or pull the weeds. You can also visit R Park on a regular basis to serve as an informal ambassador. There are many options, so please let us know if you’re interested.

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, RLC’s work is made possible Donate now buttonthanks to support and donations. We hope you’ll consider making a gift today by check and sent via USPS to PO Box 6430 | Jackson, WY 83002 or by credit card online.

Eco Tour Adventures Connects Visitors to R Park

Since June Eco Tour Adventures Owner and Lead Guide Taylor Phillips has led visitors on interpretive tours bringing R Park’s environment alive through observation and natural history interpretation.EcoTourAdventuresLogo

Rendezvous Park’s 40-acres of mixed vegetative cover ranges from wetlands to shrubs, cottonwoods and grasslands, providing habitat to an array of flora and fauna.

On behalf of Rendezvous Lands Conservancy, we invite you to join Eco Tour Adventures on August 14th or September 11th as Taylor tells stories of R Park’s many animal visitors,

Taylor Phillips Eco Toursays Park Director Elisabeth Rohrbach.

By reclaiming the former gravel pit and opening it to the public, the Jackson Hole Community and its visitors will be able to appreciate it’s natural features in perpetuity.

Eco Tour Adventures was created with the idea of helping people connect with the natural world through wildlife observation and natural history interpretation. We believe that when one is more familiar with the intricate workings of the ecosystem, he or she has a deeper appreciation and connection with their environment. With this stronger bond we believe folks will make more environmentally sound choices in their day to day lives.

Many thanks to Taylor and Eco Tour Adventures for enriching R Park with your knowledge!

Sign-up to receive announcements of this and other events and park happenings and become a ‘Friend of R Park.’

People of all ages celebrate 2015’s Summer Solstice

BikesAs the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice marks the beginning of summer and is a cause for celebration all over the world.  R Park hosted hundreds of community members to enjoy the warm weather, cool pond, and breezy knoll.

Complete with music by The Minor Keys, food from the Aspen’s Market, refreshments from Snake River Brewing and Dust Cutter, lawn games from Teton County Parks and Recreation the evening was magical and will be an annual celebration.

R Park’s preliminary design renderings for the plaza, entrance kiosks, and other amenities were displayed by representatives from Pierson Lands Works and Gilday Architects PC.

Design renderings

Mark your calendars for R Park’s 2nd annual Winter Solstice Celebration on Sunday, December 20th.  Sign-up to receive announcements of this and other events and park happenings and become a ‘Friend of R Park.’

Pond and sailboat Knoll flag backlit Meadow w guests Pond at pond level

R Park Celebrates 3rd Annual Summer Solstice

As the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice marks the onset of summer and is a cause for celebration all over the world.2015 Summer Solstice

 

Directions  R Park is centrally located at the nexus of Jackson, Wilson, and Teton Village in Wyoming. It sits along the Snake River’s west bank, across from the Emily’s Pond recreation area. Just north of the Wilson boat ramp access road and east of Highway 390/Moose-Wilson Road.

Its location is unique in that the park is accessible by START and our community pathway system via the Snake River pedestrian bridge and WY-390 underpass. Limited parking is provided as well.

6th Graders Prepare R Park for the Summer

Chaminade volunteersThanks to a partnership with the Teton Science Schools (TSS), two groups of visiting students from Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis cleaned, raked, wheelbarrowed, sweat, laughed, picnicked, and more at R Park in late May.

With 15 volunteers helping two days, they completed a total of 40-hours of much-needed maintenance and improvements.

TSS group leader Anna Llyod said,

Chaminade volunteer sports sticker

“R Park is an awesome change for Teton Science Schools’ volunteer work. This project is close to the community and will directly benefit thousands of people in many ways.”

The boys made many improvements including:

  • built new and improved existing trails throughout the park
  • removed large fence-posts obstructing visitors’ and animals’ ability to navigate the area
  • smoothed the beach along the big pond

“Sometimes work is fun to do,”

stated Kyle Johnson proudly.

Chaminade volunteers lunchMark Scott said,

“R Park is going to be really cool when it’s finished. I liked moving the heavy cement blocks, fence-posts, and gravel for the trails.”

Thanks to the 30 students and leaders from Chaminade College Preparatory School and the Teton Science Schools for contributing to this community park!

If you’re interesting in volunteering at R Park we could use your contributions and have a number of opportunities. Please contact us at elisabeth@rpark.org.

Katrina Ryan joins R Park Advisory Board

Rendezvous Lands Conservancy welcomes long-time Jackson, Wyoming local, Katrina Ryan to the R Park Advisory Board.  She will join six Advisory Board members, who are dedicated to supporting, promoting, and advocating for Rendezvous Park, our community’s first privately owned public park.

Katrina was born a raised in Wyoming and has lived in Jackson since 1988.  She attended KatrinaRyanPorter’s School in Farmington Connecticut for high school and went on to the University of Colorado in Boulder to get a BA in Psychology.  She lived for five years in New York City where she worked for Zac Posen, Michael Kors and Tod’s in fashion Public Relations but returned West to Jackson in 2006 with her husband Brandon.  Since moving back they have had three kids and now own Aspen’s Market, Westside Wine and Spirits and Sudachi.  Katrina has been involved in the community since she was 16 volunteering at Jackson Hole Therapeutic Riding and has since served six years in their board.  She had also served on the Grand Teton Music Festival board as the Wine Auction Chair, the Art Association Board, Porter’s Board, Raptor Center board, and her family foundation.

Welcome Katrina!

R Park is privately owned and managed by the Rendezvous Lands Conservancy.  For biographies of Rendezvous Lands Conservancy’s board of directors, visit here.

 

Opening Party, Quite the Celebration

On September 21st over 1,000 community members joined us in celebration of the immense progress in transforming the commercial gravel pit and welcoming the community to visit. The event incorporated interactive activities from many partners including the Jackson Hole Land Trust, the LOR Foundation, Jackson Hole Public Art, Snake River Fund, Teton Science Schools, and View22: Painting Jackson Hole’s Open Spaces.

The event was also in honor of the opening of the Snake River pedestrian bridge, a primary link in our communities’ pathway system, which has been years in the making through a partnership between Teton County, the Town of Jackson, Jackson Hole Community Pathways, and Friends of Pathways.

Thanks to all who joined in celebration and to our corporate sponsors Bistro Catering, Canvas Unlimited, Dust Cutter Beverage Co, Hughes Production, Jackson Hole POP! Fine Artisan Popcorn, the Liquor Store (TLS), Maddy and the Groove Spots, Rendezvous River Sports, Snake River Brewing Co., and WRKSHRT Digital.

Our local newspaper, the Jackson Hole News & Guide, covered the event here and view photos of the attendees here.

Final Development Plan Approved

On August 5th we reached a significant right of passage when the Teton County Board of County Commissioners approved R Park’s Final Development Plan. In doing so, many of the specifics regarding management and programming were determined.

We secured approval in great part thanks to the overwhelming community and partner support. Of the tens and tens of letters of support and public comment shared at the meeting, the following points were commonly shared. Rendezvous Park will benefit the community in many ways, specifically:

R Park team & its supporters

  • Offer 40 acres of natural land, in a central location, for the community’s enjoyment for FREE.
  • The pedestrian bridge over the Snake River, and pathway section through the park will bring to fruition one of the key and critical missing links in this valley’s supported pathway system.
  • Provide the community a safe place for children to access water (in the form of 3 ponds and small rivers connecting them).
  • The community can now enjoy a rehabilitated and previously inaccessible area in a sustainable and context-sensitive way.
  • Be maintained (as it was purchased, designed, and constructed) through private funding.

R Park is truly for, shaped by, and supported by the community. Cheers!

Meet R Park’s Advisory Board

The R Park Advisory Board is dedicated to supporting, promoting, and advocating for Rendezvous Park, our community’s first privately owned public park. 

Advisory board membersPatrice Kangas lives in Wilson Meadows with her husband, Tim and her two sons, Leo and Carson.  She balances her schedule by working as a personal assistant, caretaker, and property manager, while volunteering as Jackson Hole Youth Soccer’s travel coordinator and team manager, as well as serving on their executive committee.  This past year, Patrice also took on the role of volunteer coordinator at the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club.  While the rest of her family enjoys alpine skiing, Patrice prefers Nordic.  She is often seen hiking on the trails up and around Teton Pass.

Corey Milligan is owner of New West KnifeWorks and the Mountain Man Toy Shop based in Jackson Hole.  He served on the board of the Snake River Fund for 6 years, was one of the founders of the Summit on the Snake, and served on the Teton County Search and Rescue Team for over ten years.  Corey was also a board member of the Campaign for the Snake River Headwaters, which successfully achieved Wild and Scenic designation for the Upper Snake River and its tributaries in 2009.  He was active in the passage of SPET 8 funding for development of South Park and Wilson Bridge Park and Put – Ins.  Corey currently serves as co-chair of the Jackson Hole River Parks Project and is an active member of the Jackson Hole Moose Rugby Club.  He lives in Wilson with his beautiful wife, Jessica, and their three children Ruby, Buck, and Lucas.

Reynolds Pomeroy has been a resident of Teton County since 1980. He served two terms as Teton County Planning Commissioner and two of those years as its chair.  He served six years on the board of the Jackson Hole Land Trust, and is a founding and still-active board member of the Snake River Fund, currently serving as its president.  Reynolds was a founder and principal co-owner of Westbank Anglers, a locally-based outfitter, retail and mail-order business from 1986 until 2002.  He became the general manager of the Crescent H Ranch in 2003 and, later, in 2010, the general manager of Watchguard Security Systems.  He recently finished a season as a volunteer JHMR Ski Host, was a scenic boatman for Barker-Ewing Scenic Trips in Grand Teton National Park in 2013, and is currently a sales associate with The Clear Creek Group in Jackson.  He lives in Wilson with his wife of 28 years and their two teenage children and formally announced his candidacy as a Republican for the Teton County Commission in May 2014.

Aaron Pruzan is the owner of Rendezvous River Sports and Jackson Hole Kayak School.  As an instructor and coach he has introduced thousands to the sport of kayaking since 1993.  In 1996 he founded the Jackson Hole Kayak Club to promote youth kayaking in the Jackson Hole area.  In 2009 he began working with Teton Adaptive Sports to provide adaptive paddling opportunities in Northwest Wyoming.  In addition to his activities on the water Aaron has worked tirelessly for river stewardship as a founding board member of the Snake River Fund and a board member of American Whitewater.  His river stewardship work continues with the Wilson & South Park Beach Parks Project.  Aaron lives in Wilson, Wyoming with his wife Tamsen and their kids, Noah, Nate, and Neve.

Veronica Silberberg moved to Jackson in 2000 from New York.  She is a co-founder of Center of Wonder, StoneRiver Foundation, and New Initiatives in Public Education.  In addition, she serves on the board of the Dancers Workshop, the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, and their Arts and Culture Committee.  Veronica loves to ski and hike, and despite her college math major, she aspires to grow the right side of her brain.  Veronica and her husband Gary have three children.

Jennifer Sparks is a Senior Portfolio Manager and Partner at Friess Associates, managers to the Brandywine Mutual Funds.  She has worked at Friess Associates for over 15 years.  After graduating from the University of Vermont in 1989 and traveling West, Jennifer thought she would stay in Jackson Hole for just one year.  She fell in love with the Valley and has been here ever since.  She has been an active member on Teton County Search and Rescue for 16 years and has dedicated her time to serve on numerous Boards of Directors.  She believes volunteering and community involvement are an important part of what makes Jackson Hole so special.  Jennifer and her family brave the wilds of Town living in Jackson proper and she enjoys fishing, trail running and wintertime activities.

R Park is privately owned and managed by the Rendezvous Lands Conservancy.  For biographies of the Rendezvous Lands Conservancy’s board of directors, visit here.

Thank You, Jackson Hole Community!

The Rendezvous Lands Conservancy would like to say THANK YOU to the Jackson Hole community for helping us with our plans to turn a gravel mining operation into natural, public access park land at the Snake River/WY-22 Bridge!

What you did:
Attended meetings, filled out surveys, left comments on our website and contacted us directly

What we heard:

“This is an incredible gift to the community and I would like to express appreciation to all involved in purchasing this land and now planning for its use. The opportunity for the public to provide input to the design is also a thoughtful component to this gift.”

Keep things real.” More natural than man-made, focused on trails. Limited parking, some benches and restrooms.

Balance the uses.” Opportunities to walk, hike, run and enjoy the river and ponds. Family friendly. No commercial uses. Consider dogs (and their keepers) carefully.

Enhance habitat.” Keep and enhance existing wildlife habitat, and reclaim the gravel-disturbed areas. Consider seasonal closures or limiting access for dogs to benefit wildlife.

What’s next?
With a lot of hard work -and your input and support – the park construction could begin this fall. As our team finalizes a draft plan, we will share it with the community through our website and a June 20th presentation at Solstice at the Park.

Questions? Join us for bi-weekly Q and A’s, Tuesday afternoons from 3 to 4 pm at 1110 Maple Way, 2nd Floor, starting on June 19th – or contact us.