Oasis Park receives award

By Casey Peacock

Recently honored with the “Exemplary Park” award, Oasis State Park will host the 16th annual “Kids Fishing Clinic” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Honored at an awards banquet in October, Oasis received the award based upon the park’s overall performance and commitment to providing a quality place for visitors to go, said Erica Asmus-Otero, New Mexico State Parks public information coordinator.

“It’s definitely an honor to have received this award, it surely shows what teamwork can accomplish,” said Jim Whary, Oasis State Park Manager.

Working consistently, the staff of three have worked and continue to work hard to maintain the park. This dedication has contributed to an increase in revenue during the last five years, said Asmus-Otero.

A popular destination for fishing, the park also plays host to several weekend and weekly activities that take place. Big events include the annual Mulligan Stew and the fishing clinic. Besides the employees, the park has several volunteers that come out and help make the events possible, said Asmus-Otero.

“They (Oasis staff) work closely with their Friends of Oasis group in order to facilitate these activities,” said Asmus-Otero.

On Saturday, that tradition will continue with the annual fishing clinic.

Involved in the program for many years, volunteers from the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Portales will be on hand to assist at the clinic, said Amanda Pope, RSVP director. Volunteers will provide lunch for the children and adults. As an added bonus, many of the volunteers will provide baked good for the lunch, said Pope.

“What makes this a good program is the intergenerational involvement with the adults and the kids,” said Pope.

The fishing clinic will consist of several teaching stations, such as casting, water safety, fly tying and fish cleaning, according to the New Mexico State Parks Web site. After lunch, there will be a drawing for door prizes and free fishing for the afternoon, according to the Web site.

Participants are also encouraged to bring canned food items to help support the Life Saver Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico, said Asmus-Otero.

Pre-registration is required for the clinic. Participants may register by calling 356-5331 and leaving the child’s name, age, adult’s name and a phone number. The clinic is open to children ages six to 17 years old.