Silver City, New Mexico: Sunny and Sustainable

A benign climate, progressive city government, and thriving cultural community make Silver City, New Mexico a small gem in the southwestern U.S.
By Joe Hart
October/November 2009
Add to My MSN

The Gila cliff dwellings are part of the 3 million acres of the Gila National Forest. Silver City, N.M., sits at the southern tip of this protected wilderness area.
BOB CLEMENZ PHOTOGRAPHY
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Y2K Scare: About the Millennium Bug

From city services to the electrical grid, this is a manual for sensible Y2K planning in the few mon...

Plant Your Margins to Increase Harvests

Making your home garden productive is an in-depth and gradual process. Though you can work with a de...

15 Initiatives That Conserve Seed Diversity Around the World

These seed-saving initiatives are working to conserve seed diversity across the globe through seed b...

Growing Pine Trees From Seed

Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these...

In order to thrive, most towns need just two things: creative residents with good ideas and a responsive local government that clears barriers and offers support for those ideas to bear fruit. Silver City, New Mexico, a town of about 10,500 near the state's western border, possesses both qualities in abundance.

Home to some 30 art galleries as well as the college-sized Western New Mexico University, Silver City has long been a destination for artists and boasted a thriving arts scene. Most towns would be content to leave it at that, but Silver City has drafted a cultural plan, the primary goal of which is to “support artists, cultural/arts groups, and cultural entrepreneurs” through various efforts.

Equally impressive is the city’s commitment to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Other towns have paid lip service to the concept, but in Silver City, a plan that includes data on current energy patterns and pollution is available on the town website. It outlines steps toward meeting the principles of the Kyoto agreement.

The town sits on the southern tip of the Gila National Forest, which includes 3 million spectacular acres of protected wilderness areas, some of the nation’s first, as well as famed hot springs. The town also boasts more diversity than many others of its size, with a small Native American population and more than half its residents describing themselves as Hispanic or Latino.


Silver City Stats

Population: 10,545
Median Household Income: $25,881
Weather: A gentle high-desert climate featuring dry springs, hot summers and cool winters with just a dusting of snow.
What Makes It Great: A small art town with a great climate and a progressive city government. Active efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.


Check out the other towns featured in the 2009 installment of Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of.








Post a comment below.

 














Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.