Colorado the Beautiful Grant Award for Lunch Loop Connector Trail

GRAND JUNCTION, CO   November 28, 2018 – The City of Grand Junction and Colorado West Land Trust are thrilled to announce that the recent $400,000 award from the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife brings the fundraising effort to construct the Lunch Loop Connector Trail to the finish line.  This $2.5 million project will link some of the Grand Valley’s most popular amenities and neighborhoods to the world renown and community favorite Lunch Loop and Three Sisters trail system. With the construction of this 1.5-mile Trail in late 2019, outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities will enjoy a safe and almost seamless outdoor linear park that connects Las Colonias, the Audubon Trail, Connected Lakes, downtown Grand Junction, and the Lunch Loop and Three Sisters open space.

“This paved connection linking the Colorado Riverfront Trail to the Lunch Loop and Three Sisters trail systems will help meet goals outlined in the City of Grand Junction’s Comprehensive Plan to enhance outdoor recreation amenities that improve the quality of life for our residents and promote local economic development,” said Grand Junction City Manager Greg Caton

Sarah Shrader, owner of Bonsai Design, relocating to Las Colonias Business Park has advocated for this connection, “the ability to ride and commute to the Lunch Loop trails from our office at Las Colonias will be strategic in attracting young professionals to our local labor force.”

The City and the Land Trust partnered with Mesa County and the BLM to gather public input throughout 2017 from trail users and local organizations on the alignment of the Trail. Public meetings and focus groups during this process also yielded desired improvements to the Lunch Loop Trailhead.  A number of these suggested changes that will improve safety and the overall visitor experience at the Trailhead will coincide with the construction of the Lunch Loop Connector Trail.

Rob Bleiberg, Executive Director of the Colorado West Land Trust emphasizes the importance of this project. “The Lunch Loop Connector Trail fulfills a long term vision for this community that will connect families, kids, visitors, and trail users of all ages and abilities to the spectacular Three Sisters and Lunch Loop open space, that is so proximate to neighborhoods and other amenities but now requires a vehicle to access.” A paved trail will serve as an interface between urban and more wildland outdoor experiences allowing paved trail and dirt trail users alike opportunities to connect with nature.

Hania Bravo, a high school sophomore who lives in Riverside, helped advocate for this Trail. “This Trail will allow people from my community to use the Lunch Loop area and the bike park because they do not need a car or be driven to the area and we can just ride a bike or walk there.”

Partners for this tremendous community project include Great Outdoors Colorado, Mesa County, City of Grand Junction, Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program /NPS, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Bacon Family Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, Goodwin Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, One Riverfront, and the Bureau of Land Management.

For more information on the project please contact:

Traci Wieland, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation, traciw@gjcity.org, 970-254-3846

Libby Collins, Project Manager, libby@cowestlandtrust.org, 970-263-5443

 

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