Fruita hopes to broaden rec appeal

Fruita and the desert expanse surrounding it have long been revered as a haven for mountain bikers, four-wheeling enthusiasts and hunters.

But the city hopes in the coming months to diversify its appeal through the creation of a parks, open space and trails master plan.

The public process begins tonight with an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fruita Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen Ave. City officials will consider all aspects of outdoor recreation in determining what types of amenities to add.

“We live in a rich natural environment,” Parks and Recreation Director Ture Nycum said.

“Why not plan for it, make the best use of it?”

Nycum said city officials began discussing developing a master plan last year, and the City Council made it one of its top priorities this year.

The city hired a consultant to help guide the development of the plan. A committee has put together an inventory of the parks, open space and trails in the Fruita area, and officials will examine other communities similar to Fruita in size to compare recreational amenities.

The city in the last couple of years has opened the 100-acre Snooks Bottom Open Space Park on the south side of Interstate 70 and the 23-acre Little Salt Wash Park on Pine Street north of town. Officials hope to begin construction this summer on a trail along U.S. Highway 6&50 that will run from Triangle Park west to the Big Salt Wash, according to Nycum.

Beyond that, Nycum said the city has received suggestions for a bicycle motocross park, a so-called “pump track” for mountain bikers and additional disc golf courses and skate parks.

Nycum said the city will hold another public meeting later this spring and hopes to adopt the master plan in June or July.

A $45,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant will pay for most of the $60,000 plan. The city will pay for the balance.


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