In the late 1980s, the entire Greer Meadow was still privately owned, while much of the surrounding forested hillsides were National Forest. After decades of community coordination, a land exchange between property owners was finalized in the 1990s. The surrounding cabin lands became privately owned and the meadow lands became federally owned, a massive act of stewardship toward the preservation of the Greer Meadow and its Little Colorado River. Cattle grazing on ranch land, horses stabled for tourist rides, and other private interests were removed from the meadow. As part of this trade agreement, land along Greer’s Main Street adjacent to the meadow was designated for special community use purposes.
As the land trade concluded, a nonprofit group was created to provide leadership within the community in regard to community designated property. This group is known as the Greer Community Facilities Association (GCFA).
In 1996, the GCFA sponsored a workshop held at the Montlure Presbyterian Church Camp along the east fork of the Little Colorado River. At this workshop, they brainstormed with the community to prioritize wants, needs, and potential locations for community-related facilities.
As part of the pre-design investigations, the GCFA also sponsored a market study with the purpose of working with existing businesses to be a community collaborator, not a community competitor.
In 1998, the first concepts for a community center were reviewed. After a handful of design refinements and fund raising challenges, the building was completed for summer uses during the spring of 2005. Acknowledging significant financial contributions, the center was formally named "The Ragel Family Greer Community Center". Along with the Ragel Family, overall community contributions of time and dollars from local businesses, local home owners, local property owners, various nearby community supporters, and visitors who love Greer allowed a vision to become real.
Board and batten exterior siding was harvested from the adjacent Ponderosa Pine forests and milled in nearby Springerville and Nutrioso communities. Plywood walls and ceilings provide structure, and are exposed as a rustic finish for both the exterior and the interior.
Floor-to-ceiling glass windows span the east walls of the building, celebrating the beautiful flowers and roaming wildlife in the rear meadow.
Colors and Nature
Painted finishes are inspired with colors from nature, including white to match the oxidized aspen bark, burgundy to reflect the bark of the creekside willow branches, and red-orange to recall blooming Indian Paintbrush.
Aspen leaf prints are scattered across the exposed concrete flooring, reminding visitors of the seasonal enjoyment Greer offers. Horseshoe prints recall the prior horse riding history of the site.
A Part of Greer History
In the 60’s, a small single-room schoolhouse was still standing and in regular use for educating the youth of Greer Village. It was built in 1897, one year prior to the valley being formally named Greer.
For almost 70 years, the same building served as a place for locals to gather and later, for the Forest Service to steward our national forests. Our Community Center showcases the benches and bronze bell from the beloved Greer Schoolhouse.
GREER COMMUNITY FACILITIES ASSOCIATION
CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
As of August 22, 2019, the Greer Community Facilities Association includes the following Board of Directors and Officers:
- President: Patricia Mosher
- Treasurer: Claudia Williams
- Secretary: Jean Nelson
- Freeman, Sandee
- Jansen, Susan
- Kurtz, Bill
- Loucks, Larry
- Luke, Debra
- Nolin, Gerry
- Nolin, Jill
- Polasky, Paul
- Schildkraut, Ardis
- Smith, Lee
- Wade, Betty
- Honorary Member: Margaret Kurtz
- Summer Facility Manager: Elvia Wright