Three Sisters & Bookends trail projects continue in Grand Junction | PostIndependent.com

Three Sisters & Bookends trail projects continue in Grand Junction

Brittany Markert
bmarkert@gjfreepress.com
A rider takes in the summer sun on a Three Sisters trail in Grand Junction.
Duane Lofton |

THE FINAL PUSH FOR FUNDS

Fundraising efforts continue for the Bookends project by Mesa Land Trust. Bin 707 Foodbar held a tequila tasting and dinner on July 15. With the help of Alpine Bank, it was able to raise almost $5,000 in one evening, with almost 300 participants. Alpine Bank has also issued a challenge grant to support the Bookends purchase — matching donations up to $12,500. Besides cash donations, Alpine Bank has two other ways to help:

1. From now until Oct. 1, open a personal checking account with an Environmental Loyalty Debit Card and Alpine Bank will donate $10 to the project.

2. From now until Aug. 30, post a picture of your favorite biking or hiking spot in the Grand Valley on the Alpine Bank Facebook page or tag @alpinebank on Instagram along with the hashtag #banklocalbankAlpine. For each unique person who posts, the bank will donate $5 toward the matching grant. The photo with the most likes on both Facebook and Instagram will receive a $100 Alpine Bank Visa Gift Card.

For more information, call Carolee Hawkins at 970-254-2734.

Fruita Monument High School senior, Carl Stoye, 16, is completing his Eagle Scout project on Grand Junction’s Three Sisters trails. He brainstormed with Libby Collins of Mesa Land Trust and Chris Muhr of Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association to incorporate technology and education at the trail site.

Three Sisters land was purchased in 2012 with the first trail built the fall of 2012. More trail was built in 2013 and currently even more is being planned.

For the past six months, Stoye also created more than six short educational videos about the area. Muhr will make metal posts to include QR codes (made by Stoye as well).

“Once implemented, people can scan the code and watch the video to learn about the geology and paleontology of the land,” Stoye said.

According to Stoye, he hopes to complete the project within the next month. As an avid mountain biker, he knows the importance of land preservation and appreciates all that Mesa Land Trust has done for the Three Sisters area. Mesa Land Trust typically works with farmers and ranchers to preserve land; organizers also saw a need to preserve land around Monument Road near Colorado National Monument.

The next piece of land to be preserved by Mesa Land Trust is 63 acres, comprised of two properties flanking the Lunch Loops parking area to the west and the Three Sisters area to the east called the Bookends on Monument Road. The east side of the Bookends land will facilitate construction of a multi-use path to connect to the Riverfront Trail.

“The off-road multi-use path will encourage youth to get outdoors,” Collins said. “It will connect neighborhoods to safe and enjoyable outdoor activity and to outdoor recreation areas, such as the Bike Park and the Lunch Loops trails.”

According to Collins, Mesa Land Trust is about $50,000 away from purchasing the land for a total of $825,000. The money raised not only goes towards the purchase price of the land, but also for a landscape architect to create a park plan as a way to help residents visually see how the land will be used. Just like the Three Sisters, the Bookends project will use public input to determine how the property will be developed.

“Three Sisters is a good vision for what the Bookends land will be like,” Collins said.

Fundraising efforts continue for the next purchase while Alpine Bank issued a matching grant for Mesa Land Trust.

“We’ve established a $12,500 matching grant, but we need the community’s help to reach our goal,” Alpine Bank Regional Marketing Director Carolee Hawkins said.

HILLTOP TRAIL OPEN FOR HIKERS

The Hilltop Trail Crew built a new pedestrian-only trail officially opening June 3, connecting Three Sisters trail Yes n Dee Dee to the saddle between the two big hills (called sisters). Plans for another trail will soon reach the top of the Big Sister.

The group spent a total of six days making the new trail from start to finish.

“It’s beneficial to have a place to get out and recreate as well preserving the land,” Hilltop Trail crew founder David Livingston said.

Hilltop Trail is the first of many projects continuing on the Three Sisters land co-managed by Mesa Land Trust, Bureau of Land Management and City of Grand Junction.

“Three Sisters is more than trails; it’s a community oriented project,” Collins said.

For more information, visit http://www.mesalandtrust.org.


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