Meeting with a group of second-graders is not a regular part of my daily schedule but earlier this year, I did just that.
The children had been learning about our government, and their teacher had them write me letters with suggestions on how to make our community a better place.
Sitting down with them at a local bookstore, I got a chance to hear what was on their minds. "Wish lists" included things like a skate park, a swimming pool, and a zoo.
I wasn't surprised that many of their ideas had to do with outdoor activities — finding more places where kids can play with other kids and interact with the animals that are such a vital part of New Mexico's cultural and natural heritage.
Fortunately for all of us, there are some really special places right in our own backyard where children can get outside, visit the surrounding publics lands near Questa that include Wild Rivers Recreation Area, Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area, Latir Wilderness and Valle Vidal.