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The Outdoors is Open

Soroptimist offers trail maps for area hikes


Las Cruces, NM — For those who want to fight cabin fever, trail maps for 16 Las Cruces area hikes are available online on the Soroptimist International of Las Cruces website, www.silcnm.org. Each of the maps includes driving directions to the trailhead, hiking directions, and difficulty ratings. Many of the trails are family-friendly.

“As COVID-19 has shut doors to so many of our usual activities and outlets, the outdoors has become even more important to people looking for safe ways to stay healthy and de-stress. By making our maps available to everyone, we’re hoping help promote healthy, safe activities that people of all ages can enjoy,” says Joan Dormody, SI-Las Cruces Co-President.

The trail maps were developed for the Soroptimist Challenge, a unique hiking program now in its second season. The Challenge program has been extended through June 30 to give Las Crucens a longer opportunity to register and hike to earn patches and prizes.

The Soroptimist Challenge awards patches and outdoor merchandise to those who hike designated trails in the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument and document their hikes by taking selfies at points along each trail. Points are awarded depending on the difficulty of each hike. Participants may register for a single hike for $10 and earn an embroidered patch with the Soroptimist Challenge logo featuring a woman in the victory pose atop a mountain. Multi-hike ($40) registrants receive an additional patch corresponding to the number of points accumulated. The colorful patches, designed by Las Cruces artist Bree Lamb, include a quail family, roadrunner, coyote, eagle and mountain lion. Participants also receive outdoor merchandise with the victory-pose logo. Family registrations are available also. Registration is online at www.hikewithyourheart.org or www.silcnm.org.

All registrations support Soroptimist’s educational funding for women in Southern New Mexico and the El Paso area. The Live Your Dream Awards, for example, target women who provide primary financial support for their families while pursuing post-high school education or training programs. Often they have gone back to school while juggling family responsibilities, work, and the after-effects of poverty or abuse.

“As our other fundraisers and events have been cancelled or postponed, we are depending on the Challenge to largely fund next year's scholarships and financial awards. The women we support are among those especially vulnerable during economic crises. Even though our awards aren't large, they have a powerful impact on the lives of recipients,” says Dormody.

SI-Las Cruces is an affiliate of Soroptimist International, a global women's organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to economic empowerment. It is a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs. The 2019-2020 Soroptimist Challenge is sponsored by Melissa J. Reeves, Attorney.