Boathouse kiosk

Friends of Fourmile volunteers installed new panels at the Boathouse, part of a Common Ground grant project to the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association and its chapter Friends of Fourmile and partners BLM, BVSC and the town of Buena Vista. On hand for panel installation were project partner representatives, from left, Karen and Alan Robinson, Fiends of Fourmile; Nancy Anderson, Buena Vista Singletrack Coalition; and BV Trustee Amy Eckstein.

The long-established kiosk signs at Buena Vista’s popular Boathouse trailhead got a facelift last weekend as part of National Public Lands Day.

The three new panels include a much-updated map of the 100,000-acre Fourmile Travel Management area jointly managed by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

It includes an entirely new, expanded BV Area Trails map of existing and new hiking and biking trails east of the river, and an etiquette panel promoting safe and appropriate behavior of runners, hikers and mountainbikers.

Development, graphic design, printing and installation of these panels – and dozens more put up this week throughout Fourmile – are the result of a $26,000 Chaffee County Common Ground grant to the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association for implementation by its chapter Friends of Fourmile.

Additional generous contributions came from the BLM, the Buena Vista Singletrack Coalition and the town of Buena Vista, who along with the U.S. Forest Service were the project’s principle partners in developing the panels’ messaging and ensuring the new maps were clear and accurate.

Long-time Friends of Fourmile volunteers Kathy McCoy and Alan Robinson were responsible for graphic design and project management, respectively.

These Boathouse panels are temporary installations, in advance of a separate ongoing project by the town and others to modernize and expand the array of information kiosks here.

These annually serve thousands of local and out-of-town users of Fourmile and the rapidly expanding network of professionally designed volunteer-constructed hiking and biking trails east of the Arkansas River.

Similar maps and panels, including another etiquette panel providing tips for “caring camping” and campfire safety by overnight campers were installed this week in advance of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, along with restocking dozens of brochure boxes with the newly-revised project-funded Fourmile map and brochure.

Visitation on Memorial Day is typically by far the heaviest of the season in Fourmile, and if already extremely heavy use these past few weekends is any indication, 2020’s Big Weekend might prove to be a record breaker despite encouragement from local and state officials for recreationists to stay near home.

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