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.
You may recall when you were a youngster, having proudly stated to your friends, you were part of something that was important to you. It could have been a team, church, scouts, or a class play. Some, usually the jealous ones, would respond with “So what?” or “Who do you think you are?” Well fortunately, as adults, we have grown past that, but you may still ask it of yourself when you participate in and support a group like the Black Forest Trails Association (BFTA). So what? Who do you think you are?
I am the current President of the BFTA, so let me tell you who I think you are! As a member of the BFTA, you are greatly valued by your BFTA Board of Directors and the Black Forest community at large! Let me tell you why:
We in Black Forest are blessed with an assortment of county parks that provide ample opportunity to get out and explore the great outdoors! Whether you hike, jog, bike, ride horses or play on the swings, we all benefit. A sampling of our local parks include:
These gems are there for the taking and the county does all they can to render them safe, fun and useful. Despite their best efforts our county is budget limited and relies on citizen groups to help bridge the gap. These groups are called Friends Groups.
Once upon a time, all the homes in Black Forest were built by individual land owners, usually on five acres or more in very rural isolated forest settings. Those days are long gone! Beginning with the Cathedral Pines, there have been over ten major housing developments constructed in Black forest over the last 20 years. These developments have subdivided vast swaths of our beloved forest into 1⁄2 to 5 acre housing sites with paved roads and houses in sight of one another becoming the norm.
Black Forest Trails Association
P.O. Box 88041
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80908
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