Since 2010, the Mesa Land Trust has conserved almost 200 acres along Monument Road to add public open space to the popular Lunch Loop trail system, create a place for kid and family friendly trails, protect views along the gateway to Colorado National Monument, and secure land for an off-road path that will connect the Riverfront Trail to the S. Camp paved paths.
Through two major fundraising efforts, the Mesa Land Trust raised $2.3 million to purchase the Three Sisters (130 acres) and the Bookends (2 parcels totaling 63 acres), place a conservation easement on the acreage, and deed it over to the City of Grand Junction for public open space.
Today, the City of Grand Junction, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Mesa Land Trust partner to manage the Three Sisters (and the incorporated Bookends) and their access points. The Three Sisters today serves as an expanded trail system to neighboring Lunch Loop, an outdoor lab and classroom, and a recipient of community goodwill, hosting volunteer organizations to help maintain the lands.
The Three Sisters and the Bookends have conservation easements in order to ensure that they will remain public open space (designated in the darker green).
Community Vision for Monument Road
Few locations in our country offer more incredible scenic beauty, a spectacular National Monument, riverfront paths along one of the West’s most significant rivers, and world renowned trails within only a few miles of a vibrant downtown.
The Monument Road corridor that connects downtown Grand Junction to the Colorado National Monument provides tremendous opportunity for expanding safe, accessible, and enjoyable outdoor activities that draw residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
The overwhelming support for preserving the Three Sisters and Bookends properties, as well as the growing popularity of the area prompted the Mesa Land Trust to ask what other landscapes along Monument Road should be preserved. In 2013, the Land Trust engaged Grand Valley residents in a public Visioning process that recorded the community’s recreation and conservation goals along Monument Road. The Mesa Land Trust has summarized these goals and interests in this publication – go to http://issuu.com/mesalandtrust/docs/monument_corridor_vision_11.25.14/1?e=1
Monument Road Path
Through the Community visioning, we heard the need for an off-road shared use path along Monument Road that would connect the Riverfront Trail, the Three Sisters and Lunch Loop trails, neighborhoods, and existing paved paths throughout the Redlands.
Image of proposed path:
The Mesa Land Trust continues to work with landowners along Monument Road who are interested in conveying land, easement, or right of way that would allow for a path. Further conservation of land along Monument Road not only will help to secure the construction of a path, but also to preserve views and expand trail systems. The Monument Road path will complete the Redlands Loop and connect major amenities including the Botanic Gardens, Las Colonias, the Riverfront Trail, the Audubon Trail and Connected Lakes State Park, ehancing recreation in our community.