Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Quarterly Newsletter 2021


By Lowell Perry, Jr.

October 25, 2021

The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area (YCNHA) team and our wonderful board, continue to show tremendous perseverance and resilience throughout a pandemic that is still having an impact on the country as well as the organization. The same is true of my National Heritage Area colleagues from around the country as we work through the important reauthorization of our programs. Many thanks to those of you who have written letters of support on our behalf. You can still help sustain momentum by calling Arizona federal and state legislators to voice your support for these pieces of federal legislation – HR-803, S-1318, and S-1942, HR - 1316. Keep visiting our website, www.yumaheritage.com or follow us on social media for the latest news.

You will also find more details of YCNHA achievements over the past year in the new 2020 YCNHA Annual Report, located on https://www.yumaheritage.com/documents/documents/2020-21_Annual_Report.pdf.

As the weather continues to improve, safe, family friendly, inexpensive outdoor activities are waiting for you in the Yuma Wetlands, the Colorado River State Historic Park, and Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. New exhibits and improvements are coming online at both parks guaranteed to enhance your experience, while providing diverse and interesting history for young and old alike. Be sure to purchase an Annual Pass good for discounts on admissions to both state parks. More information is available at the web address above, at either state park, or the Heritage Center office.

The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area will be taking it to the streets with historic speaking engagements across the region featuring yours truly, and the one and only Tina Clark. You will not want to miss these events where you will be entertained with fascinating stories and historic tidbits, as well as have a conversation about the vision of the “Historic Yuma Experience” - https://youtu.be/tjsr5TV7uDU

Last, but certainly not least, I sit on the board of the Alliance of National Heritage Areas (ANHA) https://www.nationalheritageareas.us/ where I chair the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. ANHA has just released its first ever position paper entitled Racial Equity, Community Empowerment, and Social Cohesion: Sociocultural Impacts of National Heritage Areas. https://indd.adobe.com/view/482acf6e-1ba5-44bb-a571-9f14412a67de . This important document will shed an entirely new light on the enormous value of National Heritage Areas to the communities they serve.

The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area (YCNHA) is now offering Annual Community Passes for admission to Yuma’s two beloved State Historic Parks (Colorado River State Historic Park and Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park). The tickets can be purchased on the YCNHA website at www.yumaheritage.com/passes, at either of the state historic parks, or at the YCNHA offices located in the Heritage Center at 180 W. 1st Street.

• Family Passes are $50 and allow for two adults and up to four children.

• Couples passes are $40

• Individual Passes are $25

These money-saving passes offer an opportunity for local community members and winter visitors to visit the parks multiple times a year.

A major thank you to Mayor Doug Nicholls for encouraging an annual pass offering which provides an opportunity for locals to support our valued historic community assets, as well as an opportunity to bring their friends and family members to experience Historic Yuma.

The passes are non-transferable and non-refundable. Special events are not included with the passes. Get your pass today!

Colorado River State Historic Park

The Colorado River State Historic Park welcomed Lindsay Hunsaker to the team as the Retail Operations Coordinator. Lindsay Hunsaker was born in Chula Vista, CA and raised between there and South Lake Tahoe, CA. Lindsay is a mother of three beautiful children Kaylee, Gabriel and Sophia. She moved to Yuma in 2004 and has worked in customer service for 22 years. Lindsay takes pride in what she does and looks forward to her journey and growth in working with the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area.

The Colorado River State Historic Park welcomes Autentico Sapore Italiano to the park as our new restaurant. Mario Ghedin runs a catering business that features rich, quality flavor of authentic Italian meats and cheeses imported from Italy. Catering and dine in at the park is available. Pick your choice from a variety of paninis and antipasti trays made to order along with tiramisu.

Soon, Italian beverages and desserts will be added along with online ordering that can be picked up curbside at the Colorado River State Historic Park.

Mario Ghedin is from Treviso, about 20 miles from Venice, where life moves at a slower pace and friends and family gather at meals to savor the food and enjoy each other's company. Treviso is in the heart of of Prosecco country and famous for inventing the decadent coffee-flavored dessert, tiramisu. Not only does Mario bring his classic tiramisu to Yuma, he also brings his vast knowledge and collection of Italian wines and Prosecco. He has an extensive knowledge of the restaurant business, having worked in Italian restaurants in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and San Diego for over 20 years. He brings his passion for traditional, real Italian food to Yuma.

Mario enjoys a good glass of wine, he's the life of the party, and although he loves his adopted hometown of Yuma, Italy will always call him home.

Kathy Cronwell recently returned to Yuma after many years in California, raising her two boys. She loves to travel the world, sip a good tequila, and eat great food. Having a previously held the dream job for Food Taste Tester, Kathy is currently living her best life here as Mario's business partner at Autentico. With a background in marketing and a penchant for museums, Autentico Sapore Italiano, located inside one Yuma's largest museums, is the perfect opening for her next adventure.

'Tis the season of weddings! The Colorado River State Historic Park is Yuma's premier outdoor venue! We have kicked off our 2021/2022 wedding season and availability is running very short so call Teri Ingram at 928-373-5196 or Teri.Ingram@yumaaz.gov to book your event!

We are excited to be working with the Junior Optimist Club of Yuma as they will be responsible for everything associated with the Quartermaster’s Garden located at the Colorado River State Historic Park. They will till, plant, weed, and harvest the garden. As a bonus for their hard work, they will get to keep whatever produce they harvest.

Yuma Territorial Prison

The Yuma Territorial Prison was once again named by USA Today as the 2nd Best Haunted Destination. We appreciate everyone voting daily and sharing Yuma's infamous history!

The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area was awarded an Open Outdoors for Kids grant through the National Parks Foundation.

The Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park is one of the country’s most well-preserved National Landmarks. Working in conjunction with local schools, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area's program called Live Yuma History: Prison Break, gives students a unique opportunity to experience the Yuma Territorial Prison's history through both online learning and in-person field trips to the state park. Through this program we hope to foster the love of learning and Yuma's rich history.

Projected start date of this program is January 2022. For more information, contact Amanda Hexel at Amanda.Hexel@yumaaz.gov.

The Yuma Territorial Prison partnered with the Chicano Art Collective and hosted a Dia de los Muertos event on October 23rd. Ten different artists created altars that were set up in the cell blocks for one week for the public to come and view. The event included face painting, folkloric dancers, live music, art walk and a theatrical play. We are grateful to all who attended. The YCNHA enjoyed working with the Chicano Art Collective. This event would not have been possible without our community's support. A major thank you to everyone who sponsored the event!

Event Sponsors

AEA Federal Credit Union, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona Yuma, Edward Jones (Wendy Steward), Great Yuma EDC (Greg laVann), NexGen, Visit Yuma, Yuma County Chamber of Commerce, Prison Hill Brewery, Rolls and Bowls, Cornerstone Preschool, El Charro, Yuma Crossing NHA & Jamie and Renee Sheldahl

Yuma East Wetlands

The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is applying for an Arizona Office of Tourism Outdoor Recreation Revitalization grant in collaboration with the City of Yuma Parks and Recreation department. The proposal provides kayaking equipment for the P&R department to reinvigorate a kayaking on the Colorado River recreation program, as well as funding to provide trail enhancements and a shade structure on a soon-to-be developed wildlife viewing overlook at the Sunset View Wildlife Area nature park at Yuma East Wetlands.

Initial development of Sunset View Wildlife Area nature park at Yuma East Wetlands is currently being planned with funding received from Arizona State Parks and Trails. Project includes development of ADA accessible trails and wildlife viewing overlook as well as wildlife interpretive signage. This nature park is located directly north of the Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex, providing an enhanced entry point to the Yuma East Wetlands with excellent wildlife and sunset views of the iconic Yuma Territorial Prison guard tower and Ocean-to-Ocean bridge in the background. Sunset View will provide a venue for avid bird watchers and outdoor recreation and educational programming. The new nature park trails will connect to the paved bike path and parking area adjacent to a boat launch into the marsh river channels of the East Wetlands for fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding.

Concept Plan

In order to improve marshland and riparian vegetation, the Yuma East Wetland's crew mobilized a pump to supplement water levels into the south channel due to drought conditions.

Level of water rising as the pump begins to work.

The Yuma East Wetland's crew assisted the Colorado River State Historic Park staff by repairing a severe irrigation pipe leak. The crew repaired a tee junction allowing the pump to feed the sprinklers and the drip irrigation system that surrounds the park. We are very thankful for this crew and their talents which are utilized at all of the Heritage Area's locations.

Upcoming Events

The Colorado River State Historic Park is excited to host the Christmas on the Colorado event on December 12th. This event is geared towards young families and will include family photos with Mr. and Mrs. Clause, face painting and train rides. Additionally, children will write a letter to Santa, craft an ornament and photo frame and enjoy cookies, popcorn and hot chocolate. To end the evening, all can enjoy an outdoor Christmas movie. Tickets for this event will go on sale via eventbrite.com on November 1st.

Thanks to Big O Tires of Yuma for sponsoring the 2018 Grinch movie!