Jones Park Statement of Support
The individuals and organizations listed below consider themselves stakeholders in trail discussions regarding the Jones Park property. Some have been involved for more than a decade, since before the creation of the CS Utilities Jones Park Roundtable and the El Paso County Parks master planning process.
Adoption of a master plan for the Jones Park property is a requirement of the conservation easement that was placed on the property when Jones Park was transferred from CS Utilities to El Paso County. The draft of a master plan was first shared by county parks staff in December 2020, and was the outcome of a substantial public engagement process. The process was facilitated by a consulting team that included experienced conservation and recreation professionals.
We request that the El Paso County Commissioners encourage County Staff to include the trail network proposed by the consultants (shown in the map below) in the master plan. Master plans for public properties are always aspirational. This plan should include the approximate location of potential future trails on the property – while acknowledging that their construction is contingent on additional analysis of the changing conditions in Jones Park. The plan should also acknowledge that there is an established process for this analysis, that includes additional consultation with Federal agencies as laid out in the Conservation Easement.
The concept of future recreational access to Jones Park has always envisioned, since 2015 when the property was transferred to El Paso County. This concept is described in the 4th bullet point in the 2019 statement by Palmer Land Trust, below. It clearly directly the county and the community to include future trails in a master plan. The fifth bullet point outlines some of the requirements that must be met prior to construction of the trails, including additional consultation with US Fish and Wildlife service.
We feel it is important to emphasize that the need and demand for additional recreational trail opportunities continues to increase in our region. Jones Park in particular is a unique property within the county and the region that needs the support of our elected leaders, in order to responsibly balance recreation with conservation. A spectrum of sustainable, properly designed, dispersed multiple-use trail opportunities will in fact be beneficial to the area. Strategically planned trails such as those proposed by our consultants will encourage users to stay on trails, and ultimately will support our local natural resources while service the visitors and residents of El Paso County.
Therefore we ask the commisioners the Jones Park master plan should document the trails that resulted from a robust public process that included professional consultation and consideration of the conservation values of the property. By including the proposed trails, the county will preserve the option of responsible construction of sustainable trails in accordance with the conservation easement and all other restrictions.
Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates Colorado Motorcycle Trail Riders’ Association
Trails Preservation Alliance Cavaliers Trail Riding Club
To add your name to this list send an email to JonesPark@medwheel.org
Attachment B – Palmer Land statement regarding conservation easements and trail planning
Find your county commissioner with this live map. Write to them directly about the need to show trails in the Jones Park master plan.