Jones Park
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A master plan is being formed for Jones Park, which will comprehensively outline existing conditions and community needs, and recommend new sustainable recreational facilities for the park for the next seven to 10 years. File photo by Joanna Bean

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A Thursday evening meeting to discuss trails in Colorado Springs' Jones Park has been postponed due to the havoc caused by the March Blizzard of 2019.

Tim Wolken, overseeing the master planning process for the park as director of the county's Community Services Department, said the meeting will be rescheduled, although no new date has been set.

He said it's likely the team working on the plan would present it to the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in May, rather than next month as previously expected. With an endorsement from the board, the next step will be to get approval from county commissioners.

But no presentation will be made before "this important meeting," as Wolken called it. It's to collect input from trail users of the park in the city's southwest mountains, the 1,200 acres transferred to the county's management in 2015. The master plan is to be a blueprint for the next seven to 10 years.

While county contractor Altitude Land Consultants compiles feedback from a public survey, the future of the popular 5-mile trail network is expected to figure prominently. Wolken said he was "not sure" at this point if changes would be proposed. Also unsure is Salida-based subcontractor Tony Boone, a highly regarded singletrack builder.

His presence at a public meeting in November excited mountain bikers who have longed for the old Trail 667, otherwise known as Cap'n Jacks. The U.S. Forest Service's recent reroute, as part of an initiative to protect greenback cutthroat trout in the Bear Creek watershed, disappointed riders. But pleased were dirt bikers and motorcyclists, who were regranted access with the change.

"I was really kind of disappointed the meeting was canceled, but obviously I understand why," Boone said Thursday from the Springs' snow-packed north side. "We were hoping to dig into all the issues and different types of concerns people have. We figured there'd be a little conflict here and there, but that's to be expected when people are passionate."

Boone said snow and ice has kept him away from Jones Park, preventing him from a walkthrough and proper assessment. A call to Altitude Land Consultants was not immediately returned Thursday.

What might the trail plan, if any, entail? "I think it's still an open book, still an open canvas at this point," Boone said. "I don't think we've gotten into it deep enough yet."

Seth is a features writer at The Gazette, covering the outdoors and the people and places that make Colorado colorful.

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