Trail-building time arrives for Red Rock volunteers

       More than a mile of new trail - connecting three canyons - is the goal for the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) project at the city's new Red Rock Canyon Open Space this weekend (Aug. 28-29).
       About 165 pre-registered volunteers, plus 30 or more lead and support staff, are expected for the work, according to Team Leader/VOC Projects Director Heath Mackay. More than half the volunteers are from the Colorado Springs area, he said.
       Crew leaders will meet with VOC coordinators Friday night, Aug. 27, to learn their work expectations. Workers will start arriving around 8 a.m. Saturday, after which they'll get assigned to crews and work until about 4. They will be given lunch and dinner, and the evening will feature live music in the open area near the old Bock family complex. The hours will be the same on Sunday, with volunteers getting lunch again.
       The work plans are in keeping with the city trail master plan for the rugged, 788.1-acre property between the Westside's Midland and Manitou Springs Crystal Hills neighborhoods. The work will focus on the lower, northern parts of the property's three main north-south canyons. “The access is currently up and down the canyons, but there are no defined, sustainable pathways between them, so people can't do loops and cross over and see some of the best views,” Mackay said.
       “There are going to be in a sense two work areas,” he explained. “The one from Red Rock Canyon [also the name of a canyon on the east side of the property] and Greenlee Canyon is going to be really interesting, connecting through the existing quarry, which is a landmark. From Greenlee, we're going to follow a smaller drainage and connect over to Sand Canyon.”
       The VOC is coordinating with City Parks on the project. Since its inception in the mid-1980s, the private, statewide trail- building agency has worked numerous times with City Parks and other local groups.
       The weekend trail-building is part of a city plan to prepare Red Rock Canyon to open to the public in at least a minimal fashion sometime this fall.

Westside Pioneer Article