The upper Crystal River Valley arguably cradles the most unusual collection of open space properties within Pitkin County. The nearly 375 acres of open space in and around the small community of Redstone boast historical treasures, spectacular scenery, old-growth trees, Crystal River access, national forest access, an agricultural lease area, recreational climbing features and two community parks. Altogether, these open space acquisitions represent an investment of about $5.6 million. Now, a draft management plan for these assets is open to public review and feedback via an online survey. The plan addresses Redstone and Elk parks, Redstone Boulders, The Drool, Sawmill Hill and Coke Ovens Open Space. Many of the management proposals focus on the Coke Ovens property, which encompasses the historic ovens and the Redstone Stables area behind the ovens; the latter was acquired as open space in 2016 and is currently leased to an outfitter.
The draft plan and a link to the survey is available at: https://www.pitkinostprojects.com/redstone-parks-and-open-space-management-plan.html
The survey is open through Sept. 22. Key management proposals include:
- Prioritizing agricultural and ranching activities through a long-term lease and by limiting events at Coke Ovens Open Space.
- Maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat values and ecological health at Coke Ovens Open Space.
- Formalizing a public, natural-surface walking route at Coke Ovens Open Space.
- Maintaining and promoting healthy, resilient forests.
- Improving wayfinding signage to increase awareness of connectivity between parking areas and parks and open spaces.
- Continuing to work with private property owners to clarify/improve winter access to The Pillar ice climb.
- Monitoring the use and condition of riparian parcels and ensuring angler access.