Glenwood Springs to obtain Silver Sage preserve as conservation easement gift
Special to the Post Independent
The city of Glenwood Springs will soon obtain the Silver Sage preserve on the southern portion of town as a part of a conservation easement gift from Glenwood Land Company.
The city has been working with Glenwood Land Company to investigate whether or not granting the Silver Sage Preserve (an area southwest of 101 Airport Road) to Glenwood Springs would be beneficial.
Glenwood Springs recreation director Brian Smith gave a presentation to the council during its meeting Thursday night about the land and potential development opportunities.
A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values and can help protect a property for future generations.
“The area has been established for quite a while with heavily-used trails and there are some pretty good views out there,” Smith said. “As part of the conservation of these parcels in this proposal, we would facilitate an extension of the existing trails and create an almost two-mile loop hiking trail.”
The area is also vested for the development of 38 duplex housing units. By obtaining this land, the city would be able to connect Airport Road to Four Mile Road as well.
In the preserve, another 18 acres are located in Garfield County. However, Smith recommended that the city annex the latter acreage.
The Parks, Engineering and Community Development team are reviewing ways to integrate the proposal and trail connections into the South Bridge-Midland corridor, as well as a city-owned adjacent property for affordable housing development.
The city’s parks and recreation commission indicated at its meeting last week that it would be supportive of the city accepting a trail easement and gift of the conservation easement encumbered property.
“It is a great opportunity to preserve land on the south end of town and also allow access to open space for those residents down there,” city parks superintendent Dan Roper said.
Councilor Paula Stepp noted that there was much discussion last summer and fall about the city taking on more park land in regards to the land behind the city’s Walmart.
“I always had the sense that the biggest hurdle was the time, staff and money to take on additional park land and that looks exactly what we’re doing here,” she said.
She also asked if there was a homeless population using the preserve, to which Smith responded that there wasn’t a homeless cleanup effort needed, just trail improvements.
“We might monitor it and look for trash services at the trailhead, but other than bi-yearly trash maintenance, that would be about it,” Smith said.
Councilors reiterated that they would like to see what the financials would be for yearly maintenance on the trails, but most, if not all, seemed in support of the gift.
“I think it’s a great idea anytime we can do something low-cost like this,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said.
No formal vote was needed during the council meeting, but it was agreed a full package would be presented to the group at some point in the near future.
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