2014 October Newsletter

GIVING BEER
Wednesday, October 29
You are invited!

Friends of the Peak is the beneficiary of the
Giving Beer at Trinity Brewing,
1466 Garden of the Gods Road,
Wednesday, October 29, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
For every Trinity Beer sold,

$1.00 goes to Friends of the Peak.
Every week Trinity hosts
a non-profit organization for their Giving Beer.
Thank you to Trinity for this enjoyable way
to give back to the community.

Come and have a beer with us.
You can tell everyone it is for a good cause.

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BARR TRAIL SURVEY

Do you hike Barr Trail?
Do you go down Barr Trail after hiking the Incline?

  Do you have strong opinions about how Barr Trail should be maintained?

Rocky Mountain Field Institute
wants to hear from you.
They have been working to stabilize the lower 3 miles of Barr Trail (see next article), and are trying to do that in a way that is best for the trail and best for the trail users.  They want to know what the trail users think.  Take the survey at:
rmfi.org

The survey closes October 31.
You can fill it out now
 while you're thinking about it.

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BARR TRAIL WORK

Barr Trail gets a lot of use. 
So it needs a lot of work.
Friends of the Peak has been working to maintain Barr Trail for many years -- and we still are. 
But now we are not the only ones.

   Many people hike Barr Trail for its own sake,
but the lower part of Barr Trail gets many Incline users.  The heavy traffic puts a lot of wear on the trail.  Also, Barr Trail is nearly 13 miles long.  While it's possible to drive to some parts of it, for much of the trail, reaching it with volunteers on a one or two day project simply isn't practical.
   In 2012, several groups concerned about Barr Trail met and decided that maintaining all of Barr Trail with all its use and wear was too much for an all-volunteer organization.  Also, the parking fees from the Barr Trail lot now provide a source of funds to use to maintain Barr Trail.  So with funding from Manitou Springs, using the parking fees, Rocky Mountain Field Institute has started working on the bottom 3 miles of Barr Trail, from the trail head to the Incline return trail.
     RMFI started work on Barr Trail in 2013.  They worked on the first 1/2 mile, from the trail head to the switchback where the spur trail comes in.  Steps are the traditional way to stabilize a trail that has problems with erosion and drainage.  RMFI used this traditional approach for the first half mile.
   But nobody likes steps.  So RMFI is also trying other approaches to stabilize the trail, improve drainage, and prevent erosion.  They continued work in 2014, working up from the half mile point.
   You'll also see structures and erosion control matting on the slopes above and below the trail.  Besides just the trail, RMFI is working to stabilize the hillsides around the trail.  Trail users going off trail and cutting switchbacks increase the rate of erosion.  Even without that, heavy storms can also erode the hillsides.  This isn't good for the mountain or the trail.  So RMFI has installed retaining walls to help hold soil in place, check dams to slow down the water cascading down the slopes, and erosion control matting to give plants a chance to establish themselves and hold the soil in place.
   RMFI is also working to rehabilitate the web of social (renegade) trails that has developed between the top of the Incline and Barr Trail.  Having many trails on the steep slopes in that area causes lots of erosion damage.  RMFI is working to reverse that.
     Friends of the Peak is also still maintaining Barr Trail.  There's still plenty of trail above the area where RMFI is working.  We've had projects above their work.  Most of the fencing is in the lower 3 miles.  RMFI works on the trail and slopes, but not on the fence.  In 2013 and 2014, Friends of the Peak replaced 34 fence posts, reseated many more, and replaced 100 fence rails, with 3 Boy Scout Eagle projects replacing about 90 of the 100 rails.
   Friends of the Peak, in coordination with RMFI, has also continued to work on the trail tread in the lower 3 miles.  We've had projects to remove slip and trip hazards for runners, remove roots, fill ruts, re-establish drains, and break through berm to direct water off the trail.

   But that's not all the work being done around Barr Trail.  Through an intergovernmental agreement, Colorado Parks and Rec is responsible for the Incline and the return trail from the top of the Incline to Barr Trail.  You've probably noticed that the Incline is closed right now during work to repair the Incline.  CS Parks and Rec also has projects to build the return trail, and close the social trails.
   And let's not forget Incline Friends.  Incline Friends partners with CS Parks and Rec on volunteer projects on the Incline and return trail.  Friends of the Peak has joined on many of these projects, also.
   So plenty is happening on Barr Trail.  But Barr Trail needs it.  You can help.  There's always next year, of course, but if you don't want to wait, RMFI still has a few projects (go to rmfi.org) and CS Parks and Rec has another project for the Incline return trail on Saturday, November 1.  

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Friends of the Peak
email: info@fotp.com
 phone: 719-527-1384
website:  www.fotp.com
Face Book: www.facebook.com/FriendsofthePeak

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