New Sculpture Trail Encourages Art appreciation and Exercise in New Mexico

Strategy: Balance Your Budget, Collaborate in New Ways, Enhance Your Product, Serve Local Community

Type of attraction: Arts Organization, Heritage Area/Scenic Byway/Heritage Trail

Summary: The Billy the Kid Trail runs through the Village of Ruidoso and the Lincoln National Forest. The trail includes a town that Billy the Kid once called home—Lincoln, New Mexico.

The Billy the Kid Trail runs through the Village of Ruidoso and the Lincoln National Forest. The trail includes a town that Billy the Kid once called home—Lincoln, New Mexico. 

This National Scenic Byway (with the Village of Ruidoso as the fiscal agent) received federal byway funds to build a 2-mile long bike/pedestrian path along the Rio Ruidoso.  A local patron of the arts has offered to help start an annual competitive sculpture show and sale in Ruidoso.  It is anticipated that this show will generate funding to purchase new sculptures for a year-round sculpture park along the path as well as providing an ongoing source of funding to maintain the sculptures and the entire river trail.  

A number of local organizations were tapped to assist with this project once it broke ground in late summer 2010.  Organizations range from the Sierra Blanca Service Corps, which can provide youth labor, to the Ruidoso River Association, which can provide guidance on fish spawning areas that should be avoided as the path is laid out.  Public meetings are planned to give residents a voice in the development of the path.  Byway organizers are connecting this with the federal push for livability in projects: It will improve the quality of life for local residents and encourage them to go outside and get exercise while appreciating art. “Residents have been talking about this path for 40 years” notes Laura Doth, Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway coordinator.  “Funding from the National Scenic Byway program will finally help us build the path, and revenues from the sculpture show and assistance from our local partners will ensure long-term sustainability.”