(Photo by Matt Oberer, FBT Architects)
There is a fish coming to the Spring River Park and Zoo. This fish is metal rather than marine. And instead of living in water itself, it gives kids a chance to get wet and refreshed.
The public is invited to a special event Saturday (April 29) when the new water feature play structure will officially be welcomed to the zoo. Saturday’s event at the zoo (corner of East College Boulevard and North Atkinson Avenue) will take place from 11 a.m. to noon. During the event, the zoo will offer free train and carousel rides, as well as free snow cones. There will also be an information table for people to learn more about the zoo and its animals and talk to zoo representatives.
The fish water feature play structure was donated to the City of Roswell’s zoo by Roswell residents Kyle and Yasine Armstrong and Jacque and Randy Miller, along with Gemini Rosemont Commercial Real Estate, a national firm that has properties in New Mexico. The two couples and Gemini Rosemont purchased the fish at the 2016 New Mexico Appleseed's Parade of Playhouses auction fundraiser in Albuquerque. New Mexico Appleseed is an organization dedicated to addressing poverty in the state.
“The money New Mexico Appleseed raised at the 2016 Parade of Playhouses is directly supporting our primary initiative to end poverty in Roswell and around our state by battling hunger, child maltreatment and family homelessness," said New Mexico Appleseed Executive Director Jenny Ramo. “This kind of community support is imperative to successfully combating poverty in New Mexico.”
The fish play structure was designed by Mark Baker of Baker Architecture + Design of Albuquerque. It was built by AnchorBuilt, Inc., also of Albuquerque, with financial support from New Mexico’s Southwest Capital Bank.
The fish was originally named “Trout, No Doubt.” However, its arrival in its new city will also bring to it a new name. A contest to name the fish will kick off Saturday and continue through May 26. Children of all ages will be able to submit their name ideas. Details about how entries can be submitted are now being finalized. Information about the contest will be made available at Saturday’s event and soon after on the city’s website and Facebook page. The first-place prize for the entry selected to be the fish’s new name is a kid’s bike and helmet. Second-place prize is a scooter. Third-place prize is four movie tickets. Winners will be announced no later than June 15.
“This is a perfect example of how a community partnership should work,” said Joe Farr, senior vice president for Gemini Rosemont. “It began with a talented group that donated time, effort and funds to design and build the fish. Then New Mexico Appleseed hosted the auction event to raise money to combat poverty across New Mexico. Ultimately, the group that bought the fish at the auction donated it back to the community.”