Saguache County celebrates school trail

Courier photo by John Waters Local officials and community leaders gathered on Camino Baca Grande in the Baca Grande area of Saguache County to celebrate progress on a Safe Routes to School Trail that will soon have a groundbreaking. The trail will allow school students a safe path to walk to the Crestone Charter School.

BACA GRANDE — Saguache County officials including Commissioner Lynn Thompson, Commissioner Tom McCracken and County Administrator Wendi Maez were joined by other local officials including Crestone Mayor Benjamin Byer and former Mayor Kairina Danforth on July 1 for a new trail ribbon cutting.

Formally known as the Saguache County-Crestone Safe Routes to School Trail (SRTS) it will link the Baca Grande area to the Crestone Charter School.

The trail is part of a Trails Master Plan developed by the Eastern San Luis Trails Coalition with the Support of San Luis Valley Great Outdoors.

Commissioner McCracken said, "This was conceived seven years ago and is a collaboration between the Town of Crestone, Saguache County, the Crestone Charter School, the Baca Grande Property Owners Association, and SLV GO."

Funding comes from the Gates Family Foundation, Colorado Safe Routes to School, Saguache County, Colorado Health Foundation, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Phase 1 funding is $1,434,084, and phase 2 is $508,000.

The project manager is Maez, and the trails coalition project coordinator is Burt Wadman.

When completed, the paved trail will extend over a mile and connect Palomino Way and the Crestone Charter School.