BFTA 2018 Strategy
By Larry Fariss, President
Each year your Black Forest Trails Association develops a strategic plan for the upcoming year. This is necessary to insure our limited resources -- time and money -- are spent in a way that best benefits our membership and meets our mission:
"To create a safe legitimate non-motorized, multi-use recreational trail system that connects Black Forest neighborhoods to each other and to the El Paso County regional trail system."
To that end your BFTA Board adopted the following strategic priorities for 2018:
1. Finish Pineries Open Space
2. Restore Black Forest Regional Park
3. Map Regions Private Trails
4. Encourage New and Existing Friends Groups
Pineries Open Space remains our number one priority. Currently slated for partial opening by Fall 2018, this will be the biggest improvement Black Forest trail users have seen since the opening of Section 16 over 25 years ago! Thousands of acres of open space and over 15 miles of trail will greatly enhance our outdoor experiences in Black Forest. This ambitious El Paso County project is very important to our community and membership and we pass that on to county park officials regularly to insure it remains a high priority.
Black Forest Regional Park was devastated during the 2013 fire. Work has been ongoing since then to fall trees, remove debris, prevent erosion, and repair trails. We are grateful for the resources El Paso County has applied to that end. The common area is fully restored, many trails are open, and trail traffic has increased. Now is the time to relocate the trails in drainages to ridge lines so future erosion does not damage park trails. The county has a plan to accomplish this and we will work along with them to accomplish this task.
Private trails, that land owners allow neighbors to use, are the real "Gem of the Forest". Unique to our area, they foster friendly neighbors and allow users to get off the "beaten path" and have a more intimate nature experience. Old timers know where these gems are located, but our newer members are often in the dark for years. With owners concurrence we will map these trails and post them on our website. Also we will hold a yearly Trail Exploration Hike where an old timer will take new members to trails in their neighborhood.
Friends Groups are needed for several parks in Black Forest. BFTA is the Friends Group for Section 16. Fox Run Regional Park and Homestead Park have existing groups as well. These groups watchdog trails in their domain and lobby with the county for scarce maintenance resources to repair and restore existing trails, improve facilities, and highlight problems that users face. Examples of Friend Group successes are are the benches installed on trails, grading and water culvert installations, toilet facility and dog park improvements. BFTA will assist any and all organizations that want to fill this need for Black Forest Regional Park and the Pineries Open Space.
Black Forest Trails Association
P.O. Box 88041
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80908
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