ECO Trails

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    ECO Trails
    P.O. Box 1070
    3289 Cooley Mesa Road
    Gypsum, Colorado 81637

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ECO Trails Citizen Committee names 2014 Trail Supporters

Contact: Ellie Caryl, ECO Trails Program Manager, at 970-328-3523 

Dec. 4, 2014 - Town of Avon and Vail Valley Mountain Biking Association, the “Gypsum to Dotsero Trail Team” of the Eagle County Road and Bridge and Engineering Departments, and the Eagle Springs Golf Club were recently selected by the ECO Trails Committee, a 17-member citizens group, as this year’s ECO Trails Supporter of the Year.  

The awards are made annually for exceptional contributions to the regional trail and local transportation systems for the benefit of bicyclists and pedestrians.  ECO Trails is a partnership program between Vail, Avon, Minturn, Red Cliff, Eagle, Gypsum, Eagle County and the citizen volunteer ECO Trails Committee to complete a connected paved trail system through Eagle County with links to spur and backcountry trails, as well as working to improve bicycling on our local roadways.  

The ECO Trails Committee chose to recognize the effort led by former Avon Mayor Rich Carroll and the Avon Town Council, VVMBA’s Jamie Malin, John McDade, Lee Rimel, Casey and Cody Wyse and Paula and Prentice O’Leary for their efforts to construct the 12 mile West Avon Preserve trail system that was officially opened this year after several years of work, behind the scenes and on the ground.  The West Avon Preserve trail system is located on land adjacent to the Wildridge and Singletree neighborhoods that was acquired by the Town of Avon with County and Town funds as part of a complex land trade with the US Forest Service and now held in conservation easement by the Eagle Valley Land Trust.    

“The West Avon Preserve provides close to home mountain biking and hiking for Avon and Edwards residents but also is a great amenity for the rest of our valley and visitors” said John Bailey, a mountain bike advocate and long-time member of the ECO Trails Committee.  “There were many partners involved including the trail building volunteers, private donors, Singletree, Wildridge, Eagle County , Eagle Valley Land Trust and the US Forest Service.   The Committee wanted to recognize their efforts as well as how important soft surface trail networks are for our Eagle Valley quality of life.”    

The Eagle County Road and Bridge Department was selected for their commitment to completing the Gypsum to Dotsero Trail project despite their scheduling challenges.  The Eagle County  Engineering Department provided survey and design services for the majority of the project. “Most of the project length was designed and built-in house and required a long term commitment from the two departments assisting ECO Trails” said Ellie Caryl, ECO Trails Program Manager  “Taylor Ryan and Kelly Miller of Engineering contributed their time to help and were always responsive. Road and Bridge was reimbursed by the trail fund for the cost of their work, but they were always efficient given their tight timeframes and produced great results” said Caryl. The trail project is located between Gypsum and Dotsero alongside the Eagle River and is popular with citizens of Gypsum and Dotsero for biking, walking and fishing access.    

The Eagle Springs Golf Club, represented by Fred Green, Mike Steiner and Bryan Morison, was selected for their support of the Edward to Wolcott Trail project and approval of a trail easement over their water supply ditch.  “The trail section between Edwards and Wolcott is very challenging and Eagle Springs’ participation  was essential” said Caryl  “Throughout our many discussions about project details, Fred, Mike and Bryan were always supportive of the trail system completion.”  Upon final approvals and funding, the Wolcott to Edwards Trail project will travel across 4 miles of difficult terrain. “We thank Eagle Springs for approving the ditch easement when they were not obligated to participate in anyway, making the trail route more direct and constructable” said Caryl.

The Committee also acknowledged their appreciation of the cooperation of the property owners and associations alongside the most recent segment of the Eagle Vail Trail portion of the Eagle Valley Trail, including Whitewater Condominiums, River Forge Townhomes, Riverview Apartments, The Vail Church, Sunriver Condominiums and Mountain Stream Condominiums.   “The Committee appreciates the area resident’s patience with the construction process.  The end result is that there is now a route for walking and biking in that neighborhood, rather than only the shoulder of Highway 6, and they were a part of the effort to build that section along their frontages in the highway right of way” said Caryl.  

“We always have several nominees, and we are already looking forward to our next year’s awards.  There are so many positive actions underway for walking and cycling in the towns, throughout the county, by CDOT, or by businesses and volunteers.  It is an exciting time.” said Dick Cleveland, Trail Committee Chairman.

The awards will be presented at the Eagle County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, December 9.