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Dedication set for Oct. 24 at Yuma Quartermaster Depot
YUMA, ARIZONA -- Volunteer organizations and individuals who worked from the 1960s onward to revitalize Yuma's riverfront and to create the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park will be honored for their vision and hard work when a new "Founders Plaza" is dedicated on the parkgrounds at 10 a.m. Wednesday (Oct. 24).
"The vision that these Yumans had nearly 50 years ago came to fruition in the last decade," saidCharles Flynn, executive director of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, which has overseen recent improvements. "But they had to have vision, as the riverfront was then so blighted and inaccessible that these citizens had to be willing to dream and 'see over the horizon.' They also had to be very dedicated and very persistent to stick with their vision over decades."
The plaza features two monuments and engraved pavers with the names of organizations and individuals who were involved in preservation and development work from the 1960s through the late 1990s, when the Heritage Area was established.
The plaza also features a metal outline with the words "Founders Plaza" and the silhouette of a steamboat. Those features were created locally by Colorado River Stone and Granite and the plaza area was landscaped by JSA.
Flynn noted that without the efforts of those recognized at Founders Plaza, the key historic buildings and sites now part of the Quartermaster Depot park might have been lost forever. For example, the Yuma Crossing Park Council board members in the 1980s worked with the Arizona Congressional delegation to relocate the Yuma County Waters Users Association from the Quartermaster Depot corral house and storehouse. Their efforts culminated in a $1.5 million appropriation from the U.S. Congress and the legal transfer of the property to Arizona State Parks. The City of Yuma also then deeded over the Commanding Officer's Quarters, facilitating creation of the Quartermaster Depot as a state park.
More recently, as state budget pressures threatened closure of the park, the property was leased back to the city and the Heritage Area assumed day-to-day operations in a partnership that also saw the relocation of Yuma Visitors Bureau's Visitor Information Center to the park premises. Yuma Quartermaster Depot is now open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through May.
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is an independent nonprofit corporation governed by a local board of directors. It was among the first national heritage areas in the West to be officially designated by the U.S. Congress. The Heritage Area's master plan projects earned the Governor's Arizona Preservation Award in 2009. Info at 928-373-5198 or www.yumaheritage.com.
Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Direct travel spending in Yuma County totaled more than $616 million in 2011, supported 6,330 jobs and generated almost $40 million in state and local tax revenues.
Yuma Visitors Bureau contact:
Ann Walker, 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area contact:
Charles Flynn, 928-373-5192, 928-503-2679, email@example.com
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