LAKE CITY, CO., (June 13, 2016):  The Hinsdale County Master Recreation Plan has been released.  One of the primary goals of the Economic Recovery committee was an evaluation of community assets and implementation of planning needs. Each participating County identified their top economic development planning needs.   In Rio Grande County, Community Plans and Economic Development Strategies were updated for the municipalities of South Fork, Del Norte, and Monte Vista.  In Mineral County, a Downtown Assessment and Resource Visit were conducted.  In Hinsdale County, a Business Retention plan and a Master Recreation Plan were commissioned.

In Lake City, the Community Recreation Committee (CRC) was formed in November of 2013 to evaluate needs and opportunities for community recreation and evaluate benefits and challenges of proposed facilities and locations.   The CRC hosted twenty-five public meetings and evaluated nine sites for a variety of uses and community values (open space, safety, historic preservation, economic development, educational excellence, sustainable growth, fiscal responsibility, and fundability).  Initial findings were presented to elected boards and included the recommendations to 1) restore the Armory to code modifying as necessary for ADA / first floor usage (this has been accomplished thanks to an Energy Impact grant!); 2) build a multi-use Community Recreation Center on the Main School Campus (a bond for this facility failed in November of 2015); 3) construct a covered pavilion oriented east to west in Memorial Park; 4) improve user experience at the Lake City Ski Hill; and 5) engage in a Master Recreation Planning process.  It is the fifth recommendation that received funding assistance from a restricted donation made to the CRC matched with RWEACT Economic Recovery funds.  The group worked with Kelly Ortiz, landscape architect, to review literature, conduct surveys and extensive interviews, and provide draft and final recreation master plans for Hinsdale County.

Kelly Ortiz graduated with a master's degree in Landscape Architecture from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, at Syracuse University.  She has worked as a landscape architect, recreation specialist and graphic designer for the last 24 years for the USDA Forest Service and as a private consultant.

The document can be found under DIRT Publications at  

The Plan provides guidance for the next ten years of potential recreation and related economic development opportunities, including increasing amenities for residents and visitors and enticing additional outdoor recreation and heritage tourists.  Proactive planning may allow Hinsdale County to connect people to the outdoor world.  The Plan also contemplates patterns and needs, challenges and benefits, specific initiatives, funding and sustainable recreation.  This document will be used in fund-seeking and planning efforts by many community partners.

RWEACT (Rio Grande Watershed Emergency Action Coordination Team) -- together with the Rio Grande National Forest and funded through the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Department of Local Affairs, and the Office of Emergency Management – works to promote partnerships and actions that provide for public safety and resiliency of communities and watersheds of the Rio Grande Basin of Colorado.