Garfield County Commissioners back AVLT grant application

Land trust seeks $220,000 from GOCO for Red Hill, Silt River Preserve upkeep

PRESS RELEASE
October 9, 2020

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Garfield County has signed a letter of support to help the Aspen Valley Land Trust (AVLT) attain a $220,000 Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Connecting Communities in the Outdoors grant for local projects. If granted, the funding will be used for maintenance and operations at the newly renovated Red Hill area in Carbondale and for new trails and repairs at the Silt River Preserve.

The Western Slope has seen increased visitation since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S. earlier this year, and nearby natural areas are becoming increasingly popular, amid budget cuts that affect upkeep and potential expansion.

“The Board of County Commissioners endorses … the grant application and urges GOCO to fully fund this unique opportunity to address multiple community needs for recreation and outdoor education in the Colorado River and Roaring Fork valleys,” the letter of support notes.

Garfield County has partnered with the Town of Carbondale and AVLT on the Red Hill improvements, which addressed safety concerns and increased access for the more than 65,000 annual users of the popular hiking spot. The county partnered with AVLT and the Town of Silt a decade ago to acquire the Silt River Preserve, which is home to education and engagement programs, and provides recreational opportunities and important wildlife habitat.

The commissioners approved the letter of support unanimously, 3-0.

“We are eager to improve our trail resources and outdoor educational spaces, while addressing some of the management challenges that COVID has brought, and which will only continue to grow as more people seek the respite of the Western Slope,” the letter reads.

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