Summertime and the Living is Easy
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:
1. Connect the Pineries Open Space to Section 16. BFTA will work with the county on the logical connection along Vollmer Road that will allow easy access from several neighborhoods.
2. Trail Mapping Initiative. Provide digital maps to our members for county and local trails.
3. Pineries Shelter. As the current trail is very long it’s likely trail users doing the eight mile loop will get caught in our Summer afternoon monsoons. We are working with the county and seeking financial support to provide a weatherproof pavilion
4. Section 16 Definition. Many social trails and swampy shortcuts are evolving. We need to stop this and keep folks on the trail.
5. Friends Groups/Ambassadors. BFTA will help establish support groups for Black Forest Regional Park and the Pineries Open Space.
With respect to Goal 5, this newsletter includes the county’s Adopt a Park agreement. It’s no trivial task to organize an effective group. BFTA has adopted Section 16 and my wife, Cris & I adopted the Palmer Divide Trail. John Walsh recently stepped up to adopt the Black Forest Regional Park. Thanks John! Now we need someone to adopt The Pineries Open Space.
Meanwhile the Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC) started an ambassador program to protect and enhance park experience through volunteer efforts. Aaron Rogers of TOSC provided some information on this program and offered training. Paint Mines and Rainbow Falls are leading the way but the Pineries and BFRP are next. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll work with Aaron to provide training.
So these goals will be our focus for the next two years. Goals are like touchdowns and objectives are like first downs in football. Next we need to develop objectives and then specific actions (to take the analogy further-- plays) to make progress.
Our annual member’s meeting will be held at the Black Forest Brewing Company on Tuesday, 20 July at 630 PM. Terry Stokka will be our guest speaker. He leads the Friends of the Black Forest Preservation Plan and has been in the news lately speaking out for our unique Black Forest lifestyle. Your first beer is on BFTA.
And we’ll have a booth at the Black Forest fest an Saturday, August 7. Please stop by and talk trails.
Lastly BFTA is participating in the county parks master planning process. Now that the county overall master plan is complete they are focusing on subordinate plans and updating the 2013 parks plan. I participated in an internal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis in early June. The county wants this to be a public process and they are interested in your opinion. Please take the time to complete a survey soon to be posted on the county parks website https://communityservices.elpasoco.com/parks-and-recreation/ (scan the QR code on your phone to visit the county parks website).
As always please feel free to contact me at email@example.com with your thoughts, issues and ideas to keep Black Forest cool. Hope to see you on the trails this Summer with our new dog, Luna.
Sincerely, Rich Mock
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Black Forest Trails Association
P.O. Box 88041
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80908
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