Diana Lynn Rau: Grand County trails and organizations
May 22, 2012
Get informed. Get involved. Grand County Trails Night is Thursday, May 31 5:30-730 p.m at Crooked Creek Saloon in Fraser. Most of our local trails groups will be there to tell you about our current projects and how you can get involved. Complimentary beverages and appetizers will be served. Sponsored by the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Adopt-A-Trail, Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA), Arapaho Roosevelt Pawnee Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails (FVPT), Grand County Wilderness Group, Grand Mountain Bike Alliance (GMBA), Rocky Mountain National Park, US Forest Service (USFS), and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Trails Night will offer opportunities for you to learn about how to use and help our local trails systems.
Thanks to Mother Nature, many cleanup and improvement projects are needed to make our outdoors safe while maintaining Grand County’s natural beauty. This impressive list of local organizations needs your involvement. If you can’t be there, call any of the above organizations to talk about their volunteer needs this year. If you have time to go play in the woods, there are simple things you can do to help out. Contact Winter Park Visitor Center 970-726-4118 or visit http://www.playwinterpark.com for more information.
GMBA joins efforts with HTA and FVPT
New on the scene this year is GMBA. Working in conjunction with IMBA, they are focusing on improving our local mountain bike trails and bringing into the valley additional sources of funding from the International group. The new people and businesses brought into trail efforts by this organization are welcomed to the old guard as many long term projects are becoming reality.
GMBA is coming on the scene to add new energy to the long term efforts of organizations such as HTA and FVPT. These two organizations have been working tirelessly for years to maintain and increase our local trails. They are our watchdogs working with the town and county governments to preserve what we have against the constant threat of development and have gotten very little recognition over the years. Yet you constantly see the results of their efforts and the progress made.
FVPT is a totally volunteer organization that began in the early 90s and has worked with private and government landowners to keep open the trails in the Fraser Valley. People like John Sevier, Louise Powers, Andy Miller, me, and others have been the backbone of this organization for over 15 years. Jeff Russell adds new energy to the board as he takes over as president.
FVPT is responsible for the Givelo Trail in Fraser, creating the Adopt-A-Trail program, originating and now organizing maintenance to many Fraser Valley trails including the Fraser to Granby (FTG), NPLD, working for new trailheads and connector trails with the various communities, to name a few accomplishments. E-mail FVPT2@cs.com for volunteer opportunities or contact any of the individuals mentioned.
HTA was revived in the mid-90s by FVPT and the now defunct Grand Lake Partners for Trails from the original Grand County Trails Master Plan created in the late 80s by the Board of County Commissioners. HTA was recreated as a county-wide nonprofit to work with governments, businesses and individuals to spearhead Grand County trails efforts. Their banner project immediately became the creation of the Fraser to Granby Trail which has been operating now for close to 15 years. The FTG project was meant to take the system being created by the towns of Fraser and Winter Park with the Winter Park Resort out into the entire county to join towns and recreation facilities with a quality non-motorized multi-use trail, fulfilling part of the original trails master plan and to encourage secondary trail systems connecting historical, cultural and recreational sites near our communities.
Other accomplishments include coordination of National Public Lands Day with the USFS, Summer Youth Hiking program, winter Ski Treks and winter grooming on the FTG, Run the Ranches trail run series, and continuation of the Adopt-A-Trail program. There is still much work to be done but the current director, Maura McKnight, is constantly working with individuals and groups of volunteers on community projects all over the county. Please check out their website http://www.headwaterstrails.org for their many activities and volunteer opportunities, call 970-726-1013 or stop by their new office in the old Fraser Visitor Center on US Highway 40.
Work begins Memorial Day weekend for the 2012 building season with a full schedule of volunteer needs through the summer. Please visit http://www.Grandhuts.org to sign up. Plug yourself in wherever you would be most useful. Work is starting now to get ready for helicopter day, June 1. Volunteers will be working seven days a week until October. 970-531-0674 Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org