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Friday PM headlines: Harvest season at Capitol Reef, Summerfest plein air art contest

Green, unripe apricots hanging from a branch.
E. Hagerott
Capitol Reef National Park
Unripe apricots at Capitol Reef National Park.

Harvest season at Capitol Reef National Park is approaching

Each summer, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, apples and pears are all available for harvest at Capitol Reef National Park, and this year’s outlook is optimistic thanks to good spring weather and low pest pressure.

Apricots and sweet cherries will be the first to ripen, with availability expected to start early July. Apples and pears will be available late August to early September, with the main peach harvest around that same time. Cherries and plums are expected to be in limited supply due to years-long insect and irrigation issues, as well as aging trees.

The money from fruit sales will go towards the cost of maintaining the orchards, which were established in the late 1880s by pioneers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The orchards are among the largest in the national park system.

The National Park Service will provide special fruit picking ladders and tools, but requests people bring their own bags for collecting fruit. For more harvest info and pricing, visit Capitol Reef National Park’s Facebook or Twitter, or call their orchard hotline at 435-425-3791.

Register for Summerfest’s plein air art contest

Coming up in Northern Utah this summer is the annual Summerfest Arts Faire in Logan, which includes a plein air painting and photography contest where artists capture scenes in Cache Valley in four days or less.

There are categories for professional painting, professional photography, general amateur, and a new rising star category for kids up to 16 years old. First through third place in each category will receive cash prizes, with the highest for professional photography at $800.

This year, artists and photographers need to register in advance. Registration will happen at St. John’s Episcopal Church on June 9 from 5-8 p.m. and June 10 from 8-11 a.m., with late registrations accepted at the Summerfest Arts Faire Office on June 12 from 9-11 a.m. Finished paintings or photos must be framed and turned in to the Cache County Event Center on June 14 from 9-11 a.m.

All submissions will be displayed at the Summerfest Arts Faire in Logan from June 15 to 17, with most available for sale at a silent auction. For rules and more info, visit their website or call 435-213-3858.

Arizona officials pause housing development over lack of water

Officials in Arizona are putting a pause on some new housing development due to a lack of water supply. Groundwater shortages are made more complicated by a shrinking Colorado River.

The pause on development only affects certain areas on the fringes of suburban sprawl around Phoenix. It comes after a new report found those areas won’t have enough groundwater to keep taps flowing for the next 100 years.

Sarah Porter directs the Kyl Center for water policy at Arizona State University.

“This is the system working. You have to have a model like this to take the steps you need to take to protect the groundwater supplies that are being managed for future urban use,” Porter said.

Porter said the groundwater issue is fairly unique to Arizona, but cities around the Southwest will also have to rethink urban growth as the Colorado River dries up.

“We can't look to it as a growth supply for cities. So cities have to look for some other way of getting their water. What this new model and the related new ruling mean is that we have to grow in a different way,” Porter explained.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.
Alex Hager