Category Archives: News

Boulder County Parks and Open Space Survey for East Boulder Creek Management Plan Open through February 28

This is a great opportunity to advocate for a beautiful new
regional trail!
Boulder County Parks & Open Space

Boulder County Parks & Open Space is preparing a management plan
for the East Boulder Creek (EBC) Site and is seeking public comments.

The area is just north of Erie and is primarily bounded by US Highway 287
on the west, State Highway 52 (Mineral Road) on the north, and East
County Line Road on the east. Kenosha and Jasper Roads form boundaries
on the south and east. The 1377-acre site is an opportunity to welcome the
community to a new public space while ensuring a thriving habitat and
agriculture values. The site is composed of five individual open space
properties that contain a dozen ponds and five miles of perennial streams
along Boulder Creek and Coal Creek.

The goal is to provide a welcoming space for all in the community
while conserving the open space values important to everyone.
Agriculture, wildlife, native plants, and public use can all exist in
harmony at this site.
Public input will help shape the future of the site
and the priorities for conservation and community access.

Boulder County values your input and is reaching out to solicit your
participation in this process.

What can you do now?
Step 1: Watch the short introductory video on the website.
Step 2: Take the survey and share your feedback.
Step 3: Request additional input opportunities with the planning team
whose emails are included below.

Will there more opportunities for involvement? Yes, a second phase of the
planning process will begin in the spring and include more information
about the site, visits to the area, another survey, and additional public
meetings. The entire process is expected to last through the remainder of
2023 with further outreach and engagement later in the year.

For more information visit the East Boulder Creek Site Management
Plan
 webpage.

Please reach out to Jeff Moline (jmoline@bouldercounty.org or
303-678-6270) and Heidi Wagner (hwagner@bouldercounty.org or
720-864-6501) with questions or requests for more information.

Thank you for your interest in this open space and this planning process!

East Boulder Creek Site Map

Posted in Hot Topics, News | Comments Off on Boulder County Parks and Open Space Survey for East Boulder Creek Management Plan Open through February 28

Boulder County Parks and Open Space wants YOU to apply for the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee!

Are you interested in helping guide Boulder County Parks and Open Space by serving on their volunteer advisory board?

The Boulder County Commissioners are now recruiting for Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) members to fill vacancies starting March 2023.  We hope to get many qualified applicants!

Regards,
Therese Glowacki, Director
Boulder County Parks and Open Space

Information about POSAC, and the link to apply, can be found here:

Now recruiting for POSAC members.
Deadline to apply is Friday, Jan. 13. Apply Now

The Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) reviews proposals and advises Parks & Open Space staff and the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on open space issues, new land acquisitions, and the management of existing properties.

The deadline to apply is Friday, January 13.

Posted in Hot Topics, News | Comments Off on Boulder County Parks and Open Space wants YOU to apply for the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee!

End of Year Donations

To everyone who donated to BATCO through Colorado Gives Day, THANK YOU!

If you missed it, you can still donate to BATCO using the “Join/Donate” tab on this website. Hint, hint 🙂

Posted in Hot Topics, News | Comments Off on End of Year Donations

Colorado Gives Day is December 6

Colorado Gives Day is Here! BATCO is an approved non-profit affiliated with Colorado Gives Day. You can donate here: https://www.coloradogives.org/organization/BATCO.
Don’t forget to check whether your employer will match your donation. If your company uses Benevity (www.benevity.org) to facilitate donations to non-profits like BATCO, we are certified through them — making it easy for everyone to do the right thing! Our trails will thank you!

Posted in Hot Topics, News | Comments Off on Colorado Gives Day is December 6

Heil Valley Ranch South Side Trails Now Open

Heil Valley Ranch South Side Trails are now open after Cal-Wood Fire Recovery.

The Main trailhead parking will close at noon daily through Sept. 30 due to flash flood risks.

The Corral and Main trailheads and associated trails are open for on-trail use as of today, June 16, after extensive recovery efforts from the Cal-Wood fire in October 2020. Due to the severely burned landscape, the south side of the park is prone to flash flooding. The Main Trailhead parking lot will close at noon daily through Sept. 30 due to flash flood risks. All vehicles still in the parking lot after noon may be ticketed. Trails, picnic tables, and the shelter will remain open until sunset, but visitors must park elsewhere. A new live trailhead camera has been added to the Corral Trailhead for visitors to check parking availability on the Heil Valley Ranch webpage before heading to the trails. Flash flooding is also likely at all small and large canyons and may deposit debris and mud in downstream/downslope areas. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead for a safe visit: Sign up for emergency alerts at boulderoem.com. Check the weather forecast and visit another park if rain is anticipated. As you travel on trail, identify the flood safety routes (map). Keep your eyes on the sky. You may not be able to receive text messages, alerts, or hear sirens. Leave if storm clouds are building. Do not drive if you see flooding. Never drive through water if you cannot see the road beneath the water. The road may not be intact under floodwaters. For more information, please visit the
Heil Valley Ranch webpage.

Please note! BATCO volunteers helped clear ash and sediment out of the Grindstone Quarry Trail where it crosses the creek near the Corral Trailhead. Thank you to all who participated.

Bridge at Heil Valley Ranch with burned landscape in background
Nice new trail bridge to replace the one that burned
Posted in News | Comments Off on Heil Valley Ranch South Side Trails Now Open

Fire Awareness on Trails

Posted in News | Comments Off on Fire Awareness on Trails

Cleaning Up the Lower Grindstone Quarry Trail

BATCO volunteers had a great day in October at Heil Valley Ranch removing many buckets of Cal-Wood Fire derived silt and ash from the trail steps on both sides of the creek. We also built new water bars farther up the trail. Thanks, everyone!

Posted in Events, News | Comments Off on Cleaning Up the Lower Grindstone Quarry Trail

HELP BATCO AND BCPOS RE-OPEN HEIL VALLEY RANCH

NOW IS THE TIME TO SIGN UP!   October 9, 2021

Boulder County Parks and Open Space has been making some progress cleaning up Heil Valley Ranch after the Calwood Fire.  They had hoped to be able to re-open the south of the Park this fall, but unfortunately will not be able to meet that goal until spring of 2022.  However, volunteers can help accelerate the project.

What: We will be reworking the low water crossing on the Grindstone Quarry Trail, removing some remnants from the debris flow that occurred earlier this year, touching up some areas around rock steps and then adding ¾” rock to the area.

The work will be moderately strenuous and will include the use of hand tools such as McLeods, pick mattocks, rakes, and shovels.  (However, you can do as much hard work or as little as you like!)

When: Saturday, October 9
            Meeting time: 8:00am        Project End time: 12:00 pm

Where:  Please plan to meet at Lefthand Canyon/Geer Canyon Dr at 8:00 and once everyone is accounted for head towards one of the parking areas. Staff will meet us at the park entrance and then lead everyone in to the parking area.

RSVP: Chris Morrison
            chris46morrison@gmail.com
            303-499-2033

Please contact Chris in addition to signing the county’s waiver below so we can plan.

Here is a link for participants to sign a waiver before the project: https://waiver.fr/p-6H7aT Or you can sign up the morning of the work project on an ipad staff will provide.

Weather: The weather looks GREAT for next weekend! However, weather in Colorado is unpredictable at any time of year.  It is important that you bring warm and waterproof clothing that you can work in, as we will try to complete the work even in slightly inclement weather (cold temps, light rain/snow).  

What You Should Bring
Water bottle and water
Snacks
Sturdy shoes/boots – no sandals please
Pants – recommended
Sunscreen
Work gloves (if you have a special pair) otherwise we will provide them
Layers of clothes
Rain gear
Backpack – for carrying clothing, food, etc.
Binoculars or camera (optional)

We Will Provide:
Snacks
Work gloves
Extra Water
First aid kit
All necessary tools

Thanks in advance for volunteering with BATCO and Boulder County Parks & Open Space!

Posted in Events, News | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on HELP BATCO AND BCPOS RE-OPEN HEIL VALLEY RANCH

Help Boulder County Repair Trails at Heil Valley Ranch – October 9

SAVE THE DATE!   October 9, 2021

Boulder County Parks and Open Space has been making some progress cleaning up Heil Valley Ranch after the Calwood Fire.  They had hoped to be able to re-open the south of the Park this fall, but unfortunately will not be able to meet that goal until spring of 2022.  However, volunteers can help accelerate the project.


Help BATCO get it done!

What: The work will entail removal of vegetation overgrowth, moving slash/trees along the trail corridor to keep the trail from widening, and redefining sections of trail that have seen sediment deposition from storms.

The work will be moderately strenuous and will include the use of hand tools such as McLeods, pick mattocks, rakes, and shovels.  (However, you can do as much hard work or as little as you like!)

When: Saturday, October 9
            Meeting time: 8:00am        Project End time: 12:00 pm

Where:  We will provide more detailed location information as we approach the date

RSVP: Chris Morrison
            chris46morrison@gmail.com
            303-499-2033

Weather: Weather in Colorado is unpredictable at any time of year.  It is important that you bring warm and waterproof clothing that you can work in, as we will try to complete the work even in slightly inclement weather (cold temps, light rain/snow).  

What You Should Bring
Water bottle and water
Snacks
Sturdy shoes/boots – no sandals please
Pants – recommended
Sunscreen
Work gloves (if you have a special pair) otherwise we will provide them
Layers of clothes
Rain gear
Backpack – for carrying clothing, food, etc.
Binoculars or camera (optional)

We Will Provide:
Snacks
Work gloves
Extra Water
First aid kit
All necessary tools

Thanks in advance for volunteering with BATCO and Boulder County Parks & Open Space!

Posted in Events, News | Comments Off on Help Boulder County Repair Trails at Heil Valley Ranch – October 9

Hiking With A GPS? Mountain Rescuers Who Might Have To Find You Say, ‘Get A Map!’

This article is from the program “Here and Now” on NPR on August 17, 2021. You can alleviate your app woes by ordering the BATCO map here.

by Robin Young and Camila Beiner

Wesley Trimble of the American Hiking Society on a hike. (Courtesy of Wesley Trimble)
Wesley Trimble of the American Hiking Society on a hike. (Courtesy of Wesley Trimble)

If you’re planning to hike this summer, experts say to consider bringing a paper map. That’s because hiking organizations and rescuers around the country are seeing an increase in injuries and rescues.

One of the reasons for the additional mayhem on the trails is sheer numbers. Hikers logging treks into the popular AllTrails website increased by 171% in 2020.

The other reason though is the one causing concern: More people are relying on GPS programs — like Google Maps — for directions.

One problem with using these apps is unreliable data, says Wesley Trimble with the American Hiking Society.

“Most trail applications out there use a variety of base layer maps,” Trimble says. “These layers are crowdsourced a lot of times, and then people upload GPS tracks of places that they’ve been when there’s really no way to verify whether or not those uploaded tracks are on designated trails.”

More reliable maps can be found on National Park Service applications. Though these can still be downloaded, the trails are verified. But because cell phones can lose reception, or end up wet, dropped, or damaged, these should be used in combination with paper maps or printed before the hikers depart.

Another issue with cell phone reliance is the small screen, which makes it difficult for hikers to understand their larger environment. One New Hampshire rescuer explains that the small screen also makes it difficult for rescuers to find lost hikers since the hikers can’t see enough territory to describe where they are.

Wesley Trimble of the American Hiking Society on a hike. (Courtesy of Wesley Trimble)
Wesley Trimble of the American Hiking Society on a hike. (Courtesy of Wesley Trimble)

And Trimble, an avid hiker, has also had his share of personal experiences using GPS directions — including ending up on nonexistent trails.

“I was checking out trails and I had been on two sections of trail before,” he says. “When I was using one of these trail apps, it said there was a connection between them but when I got to where they said these two trails connected, there was absolutely no trail connection.”

The person who uploaded the information, he says, hiked up a 35-degree slope which could have led other hikers to fall. Ascending that type of slope with no trail can also create erosion and destroy fragile ecosystems.

On another occasion, Trimble realized the map he thought he’d downloaded wasn’t there at all.

“I was pretty positive I had downloaded the map before I left cellphone reception,” Trimble says. “Then when I was on the hike and pulled the app up… there was no data or map saved so luckily I was able to rely on a print version.”

The best way to stay safe on trails is to use multiple sources for directions, he says. People can talk to locals in the area, outdoor retailers or the park visitors centers.

In addition to paper maps, the American Hiking Society recommends compasses. But there’s a caveat: People need the skills to use the device properly, Trimble says.

New Hampshire rescue and trail conservation workers say they’ve been busy this summer, reporting about one GPS-user rescue a week.

Still, Trimble says that with a few simple precautions hiking can be safe and enjoyable. He cites an Outdoor Foundation report that says there was an increase of more than 7 million people on the trails from 2019 to 2020 as a good thing.

“The more people who are connected to these special places, the more people who value those spaces that want to advocate and protect those places,” Trimble says. “But it also does mean that there’s an added impact.”


Posted in News | Comments Off on Hiking With A GPS? Mountain Rescuers Who Might Have To Find You Say, ‘Get A Map!’