Boulder Open Space Conservancy is an official non-profit partner of the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks department that protects, enhances, and preserves Boulder's natural legacy of public lands for all our citizens and visitors, for current and future generations.
Boulder Open Space Conservancy seeks to galvanize community commitment to inspire stewardship of land resources, enhance educational opportunities in a fully inclusive environment, and strategically collaborate to build economic vitality and preservation of our open space. BOSC's current focus is on the Mount Sanitas trail restoration project, a high priority restoration project for OSMP.
In 2017, there were nearly 118,000 visits on the Mount Sanitas trail. Starting in 2016, there has been a dedicated push by OSMP to work on small, discrete projects every year on the Mount Sanitas trail to improve the visitor experience, minimize erosion, and protect the trail in its current, legacy alignment. Over 15,500 hours have been spent hauling material, building structures, and repairing tread since 2016.
While there are timber steps and retaining walls on the trail the preference, is to build with stone as it is more durable and long-lasting. However, building with stone is time-consuming. As much as 75% of the time a crew is working on a project is spent gathering, shaping, and moving material to the worksite. For instance, in 2019, the OSMP and youth corps moved over 50 tons of stone by hand over an average distance of 200 feet to repair a little under 100 feet of tread.
Barriers to completing more work each year include staff and crew time, tools, training, and raw materials.
• With over 150 miles of trails to maintain there is only so much OSMP trail crew time that can be dedicated in any given year to Mount Sanitas. Youth corps are a great solution for value-added work. In 2021, a typical youth corps cost around $7,000 per week.
• Tools are another limiting factor. OSMP staff factors in the availability of the specialized rigging and tree climbing equipment needed to work on builds of this magnitude. Having dedicated rigging gear for Mount Sanitas would greatly reduce this particular barrier.
• The availability of raw materials is another barrier to getting more work done quickly on Mount Sanitas. In most cases the preference is to build with rock on this trail and the volume of rock and dirt necessary to create structures is vast. Having materials flown in by helicopter would greatly reduce the amount of time staff spends quarrying material on site.
Thank you for joining us in protecting and preserving Boulder's greatest asset: our open space, ensuring vibrant and healthy public land and community forever!
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