First phase of beautification project

This depiction of the intersection of Highways 160 and 184 shows what the mural and landscaping might look like when it's finished. Enlargephoto

This depiction of the intersection of Highways 160 and 184 shows what the mural and landscaping might look like when it's finished.

With the help of many community people, there will soon be a mural at the intersection of Highways 160 and 184. It will be on the west side of the Mancos Liquor store, and can be seen by anyone driving towards Durango or Dolores. In addition, it will spiff up that corner that now consists of a CDOT building and some grassy areas.

The town of Mancos has already agreed to landscape much of the areas in that intersection and along Highway 160, but they will also install a xeriscape in the triangular area just in front of the proposed mural.

"It will hopefully be done by Mancos Days," said Betsy Harrison, one of the organizers and president of the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The Mancos Heritage Project, as it is called, is a joint effort of the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Mancos Valley Arts Council, working in collaboration with CDOT and the Town of Mancos.

The goal of the Project is to make a significant statement about the town by upgrading the appearance of the traffic light intersection. "We would like to think that this effort is only 'phase one' of an ongoing beautification effort," said Harrison.

Several years ago, the Chamber surveyed a significant number of Mancos businesses to find out what folks thought was important to the growth and sustainability of Mancos. Harrison said that one of the most consistent things mentioned was "Pride in our town." Unlike Cortez, Durango or Dolores, the main traffic arteries bypass the heart of Mancos, thereby showing only our backyard to locals and tourists alike.

In addition to the mural, which will be a Western-themed painting, there is landscaping to be done between the liquor store and the CDOT building and repainting the building itself with materials supplied by CDOT.

The funding for the Project, of which the mural is a huge part, will come from grant requests submitted to local charitable organizations, a fund-raising event featuring Chuck Pyle at the Millwood Junction on March 9, and private donations from the local citizens.

"We will accept donations - any size - from anyone," said Harrison. They pass through the Mancos Valley Resources and are tax deductible. If you would like to donate, you can call Harrison at 739-1172 or mail it to Mancos Valley Resources-Heritage Project, POB 204, Mancos, Colo. (Checks should be made out to Mancos Valley Resources-Heritage Project.)