Location: Grant County
Type of Project: Trails & Open Space Planning effort
Date Completed: ongoing
The greater Silver City area is known for wonderful areas to hike and bike. The reason—a plethora of natural areas in the vicinity of this Continental Divide Trail “Gateway Community,” including three million acres of the Gila National Forest sitting in their backyard. These amenities draw recreational enthusiasts that are willing to give back to their community and dedicate much of their time building new and repairing existing trails.
In recognition of the need to organize this energy into a larger, cohesive effort, NMLC was approached to help identify long-term funding to expand upon the community’s many accomplishments. A very generous grant by the LOR Foundation allowed NMLC to pull a myriad of partners together to do exactly that. NMLC engaged Traci Burnsed (Southwest Horizons Planning and Mapping) and Desiré Liska (Opening Spaces) to generate maps that incorporate the trails in the area, as well as some visual alternatives as to how best to provide connectivity between these various trail systems.
Over the past few years, the LOR money has allowed Burnsed and Liska to facilitate meetings, pulling all of the various trails and open-space stakeholders together to prioritize need and initiate a Comprehensive Trails and Open Space Plan for the Greater Silver City Area of Grant County and beyond. Ron Troy of NMLC has expressed “It has been really rewarding to see what the LOR Foundation’s generosity has catalyzed in the area. Not only have the maps and meetings helped spark important conversation around planning efforts, but there also seems to be a higher level of enthusiasm and organization around trail maintenance. The grant has also translated into acquisition of several pedestrian right-of-ways and land acquisitions that will benefit community trails and open space in key areas”.
NMLC is grateful for the LOR Foundation’s generosity—stay tuned for what we hope will be an expanded trails and open space planning and implementation effort for Grant County.
What began in 2017 with an initial grant from the LOR Foundation awarded to and implemented by NMLC to help support Trails and Open Space efforts in Silver City, has blossomed into a major effort by a wide spectrum of stakeholders to continue this work that includes land acquisition for trails and open space, trail maintenance, and an effort to develop a comprehensive Trails and Open Space Plan for the larger Grant County area within which Silver City is located.
As part of these efforts, in 2019, NMLC completed the acquisition of a 1.7-acre property on behalf of the Town of Silver City (TOSC), for a pedestrian easement along the west side of the San Vicente Creek. The property and trails will become part of the TOSC’s San Vicente Trail, a key trail linking the downtown with the ball-fields and golf course. Funds for the purchase of the Property have been provided to NMLC by the LOR Foundation.