by: Dustin Heron Urban
January 1st, 2009
We received over the holidays some particularly exciting gifts here at South Main. Not only was South Main’s first native son, my boy Heron Wells Urban, born on December 15th, but we also received word that the town of Buena Vista was awarded a grant to fund further improvements to our river park and the installation of two climbing boulders in South Main. On behalf of the town, my wife Katie and I wrote and coordinated the necessary materials for the Local Parks and Outdoor Recreation grant, which was awarded in December by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) in the amount of $200,000. Matching funds, in kind contributions and community fundraising will bring the grant project total to $293,700.
Voters approved in 1992 an amendment to the Colorado Constitution to form the GOCO Trust Fund, which receives 50% of proceeds from the Colorado lottery. These funds are then disbursed in pursuit of GOCO’s mission, which is “To help preserve, protect, enhance, and manage the state's wildlife, park, river, trail, and open space heritage.”
In 2005 Katie wrote and was awarded a grant from GOCO on behalf of the town to fund the construction of three new whitewater features in the Buena Vista River Park, adjacent to and upstream of South Main. Grant funds were also used to construct a new network of trails along the river park, which interconnect with the Barbara Whipple and BLM trail systems east of the Arkansas River.
The grant funds just awarded will fund maintenance and improvements for the four existing river park features as well the construction of two new features, which will likely be located downstream of what is currently the last feature in the river park. This new section will be located directly east of South Main’s River Park Square. Our hope is that they will serve as the venue for future kayaking and river events such as the Buena Vista Pro Rodeo.
The climbing boulders will be state of the art in quality and will cater to climbers of all levels, from toddler to pro. One will be located at the southern end of South Main’s River Park Square while the other will be located on town park land approximately 100 feet north of South Main’s north property line. This boulder will be tucked up against a small hill (which will serve as a windbreak) north of Swift Circle. We expect these boulders to be in place this coming summer. Grant funds will also be used for park improvements like the installation of benches and picnic tables, tree planting and trail connections between the north boulder, South Main and the river trails.
All told this grant award gives us an exciting opportunity to further enhance the outdoor recreational amenities immediately accessible from South Main. Not only are we passionate about activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking and fishing, but we are thrilled to be creating a community where outdoor recreation is on your doorstep, car free and a way of life. And for personal reasons I am particularly excited about the boulders since they will be located less than a minute from my house, allowing me to get in a good workout, even while I watch Heron.
It is a truly unique neighborhood that we have in South Main, and we are having a blast watching it grow. 2009 will bring to South Main a new Restaurant and Brewery, a new vacation rental program and now whitewater park improvements and two climbing boulders. If you haven’t been already, this season would be a great time for a visit!
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Other Pages You Might Find Interesting:
Our River Park page
The South Main Kayak Team page