Greetings Black Forest trails users. It’s suddenly Summer! Hard to believe after the cold deluge and hail at Meadowgrass. But as we all know -- that’s Colorado weather.
I think we have another great newsletter for you with updates on The Great American Cleanup, Backyard Market and another guest article from Molly Clarke submitted by Rachel Gaffney on preserving nature while hiking. We love guest articles so please send your thoughts our way.
I’ve always liked Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat quote about ‘if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there’. To me, organizational goals are the roadmap. The BFTA board discussed goals at our last meeting and decided on the following in priority order:
El Paso County has released the draft Master Plan for public review and comment. This comprehensive document, when approved by the El Paso County Planning Commission, will replace the El Paso County Policy Plan and the numerous Small Area Plans dating back to the 1970’s . The website with information on the Master Plan is here: https://elpaso.hlplanning.com/pages/draft-plan-outreach As the web site notes, revised placetypes models and Implementation Chapter 14 will be forthcoming. Additional information regarding the Master Plan effort can be found here: https://elpaso-hlplanning.hub.arcgis.com/
We're looking for input from our friends and members on the Master Plan, primarily as it relates to trails in El Paso County. Trail information is mostly contained in Chapter 6, Transportation & Mobility and Chapter 10, Recreation & Tourism. We'd ask that you please review the draft Master Plan and provide any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 6 for consolidation and submission with our organizational weight. We anticipate an evening public meeting from 6-7 pm on March 31, with more details to follow that will be posted on the county web site.
I am Rich Mock, your new president. Following Larry Fariss’s ten year term and record of success will be a real challenge for me but with your help and the support of the board staff, I think we can make some progress.
I’ve lived in the NE corner of the Black Forest by Hodgen and Eastonville for over twenty years. My wonderful wife, Cris, and I have two horses and four cats but am currently dogless. We were instrumental in establishing the Palmer Divide trail when I was president of the Woodlake HOA. I started a friend’s group there (see my picture by the sign) and at Homestead Ranch. I’ve also served on the El Paso County Parks Advisory Board and am currently part of the Fairgrounds Corp. I admit to being a chronic volunteer. Serving my community is important to me.
By Larry Fariss
For the past 10 years I have had the distinct honor to serve as your Black Forest Trails Association President. When past president Hank Hoover stepped down in 2010, he handed me a great organization with a long list of service and accomplishments. Now it is time for me to pass the baton to another as I too, like my mentor Hank, step down from this leadership post effective October 2020. It got me to thinking, what have we accomplished together this last decade? To that end I reviewed 10 years of minutes, newsletters and past President’s Corner articles to ascertain our collective impact on the Black Forest Community. Let’s take a victory lap!
Perhaps now more than ever, parks, trails and open spaces are providing our community with a much-needed benefit to sustain both our physical and mental health. These are the places that are helping us all cope with the uncertainty of this public health crisis that has disrupted our daily lives and left us feeling stuck inside. Our commitment to you is to keep these areas accessible, maintained and benefiting our community as long as it’s responsible to do so. However, in order to do this, we all need to do our part to use these areas in a way that respects each other and public health guidance.
Black Forest Trails Association
P.O. Box 88041
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80908
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