Group makes plans for park above Meadows
Some Glenwood Springs residents are envisioning a new city park becoming a magnet for hikers, bikers, birders and other lovers of the outdoors.An informal group of people calling themselves Friends of Wulfsohn Mountain Park has formed to help map out a future for some 200 acres of city property. The land is located above what will be the housing component of the Glenwood Meadows commercial and residential development. Glenwood Meadows sits on the former Wulfsohn Ranch property.The group plans to work with the city in making plans for the park property and seeking grants for trails and other features. It met in a work session with City Council Thursday and received informal approval to proceed with its efforts to spearhead development of the property for recreational purposes.An initial project will be to partner with the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers organization on Sept. 16 to build an access trail from the Glenwood Springs Community Center.The group is focusing on a number of nonmotorized uses for the property, such as single-track trails for mountain biking, walking, bird-watching and other activities.Another idea is to create a free-ride park for mountain bikers, making use of teeter-totters, elevated tracks, jumps and other tests of technical riding skills.Retired professional bicycle racer Jeanne Golay is among the members of the park group. She said the park would fill a need for some flat to rolling mountain bike trails in Glenwood. The city sits in a valley, and trails now switchback up adjacent mountains, including Red Mountain, where a trail is named after Golay.”Everything starts with an hour of climbing,” she said.She hopes that some easier mountain bike trails might make Glenwood attractive as a stopover for cyclists passing through on Interstate 70 on their way to renowned riding areas such as Fruita and Moab, Utah.Other goals of the park group include protecting and stabilizing the site and existing trails there, and creating a connection between the Red Mountain/Jeanne Golay trail and the park. To do the latter, the city would need to obtain an easement through private property.Park advocates say the property is attractive in that it is in town, yet adjacent to wildlands. They plan to work with the Colorado Division of Wildlife to try to minimize park impacts on elk and other wildlife.Mayor Bruce Christensen said he likes the idea of providing another attraction for tourists, and City Council member Kris Chadwick praised the park group for taking the initiative on the project.”It just has fabulous potential,” she said.Said Golay, “There’s a lot of potential for it to be a very popular city park.”Tom McRaith, also a member of the city’s River Commission, is taking a lead role in the group seeking to develop the park.”It’s just such a neat urban/wilderness mix. I really, really like the possibilities there,” he told council members.The group plans to cooperate with the River Commission and city Parks and Recreation Department on the project. The city is preparing to proceed with a citywide parks and recreation master plan.The group also plans to work with the Lower Valley Trails Group (LoVa), a private organization pursing construction of a trail along the Colorado River/Interstate 70 corridor in western Garfield County. In addition, it will consult with the Two Rivers Community Foundation on fund-raising.For information on the group and its efforts, McRaith may be reached at 379-8958.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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