Monument to improve canyon trail with $27,000

Colorado National Monument will use an additional $27,000 in federal stimulus money this year to continue rehabilitating well-used trails.

The new money, which comes on top of $226,000 received last year, boosts the monument’s stimulus total to $253,000, monument Superintendent Joan Anzelmo said.

“For us, the good news is we achieved some benchmarks and have received this additional money that will allow us to continue our work rehabilitating Monument Canyon Trail,” Anzelmo said.

The trail is the park’s second most-popular behind heavily used Serpents Trail.

Monument Canyon Trail “is the signature hike if you want a more significant trail experience when visiting the monument,” Anzelmo said.

More than 14 miles of monument trails have been rebuilt by park trail crews, thanks to funds from the American Recovery and Investment Act.

“That money has allowed us to do lasting work for our visitors and to put local people to work on the monument trails,” Anzelmo said.

Last year’s trail crew was the first formal National Park trail crew “in decades,” according to Anzelmo.

“We used those ARRA funds to hire local people and students, and we’re about to fill out this summer’s trail crew,” she said.

One of the crew’s achievements last summer was rebuilding, with the help of a trail crew from Grand Teton National Park, the Artist’s Point Overlook on Monument Canyon Trail. The work entailed moving and using large boulders, an area of expertise for the Grand Teton crew.

Restrictions on stimulus funding say all work must be completed by Sept. 30, so Anzelmo expects this year’s trail crew to start work as soon as hiring and weather permits.

The Park Service recently announced that approximately $129 million has been saved on some of the larger initial ARRA projects across the country.

The Park Service received $750 million of the $3 billion of ARRA funds provided to the Department of Interior.


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