What’s the future of outdoor recreation in Craig? University of Colorado students present findings | CraigDailyPress.com

What’s the future of outdoor recreation in Craig? University of Colorado students present findings

Michelle Balleck/For Craig Press

CRAIG — What does the future hold for recreational opportunties in Craig? A group of University of Colorado Masters of the Environment students have some big ideas.

The students presented their findings Dec. 8 during a presentation at Craig City Hall.

"Craig and Moffat County have access to beautiful natural resources, and there’s so much potential in this region," said Matt Frommer, one of the seven students who worked on the local project throughout the semester. "We wanted to find projects that both benefit the local community and provide new economic opportunities for the city of Craig."

The students visited Craig and Moffat County twice earlier in the semester to meet with stakeholders, understand current efforts and identify goals for future recreational opportunities. The final presentation included analyses of three recreational opportunities — trails, an amphitheater and the Yampa River Diversion Park.

The final presentation included community members interested in recreational planning and a workshop to develop an implementation plan that identified a team of champions who will be responsible for the action.

"All of the people we worked with were genuine and passionate about the future of Craig, which made for some great discussion. The rural communities of the Western Slope are facing very real challenges to their culture and livelihoods," Frommer said. "I have a whole new perspective about what’s going on out here, and it’s not something you can just read on the internet or learn in the classroom. We had to come here and experience it for ourselves."

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Joel Hartter, CU associate professor and MENV faculty director, joined the students on the visits. He collaborated with sity of Craig, Moffat County and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership officials to work with the community on the project.

Craig Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike said the results of the CU students' work will be beneficial to future planning and outreach.

"Their findings will be a very useful tool when we begin to put together the new Comprehensive Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan for the greater Craig area," Pike said.

For more information about the recreation workshop or the city's plans, call Pike at 970-826-2006.