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Last Wednesday at the City's Open Space Advisory Board meeting, it was announced that the Hunt arroyo at Bear Ridge had finally been purchased using stormwater money. The purchase has been pending for seven years ever since Rick Bonart and Charlie Wakeem met with Justin Chapman of Hunt at the site. The Arroyo is very popular with hikers and mountain bikers and leads directly into the State Park.
According to Bonart, John Balliew, CEO of El Paso Water, says that there are no immediate plans for stormwater improvement at the site. Keeping the land pristine is always good news.
This past September $185K was made available for a trailhead at the Bear Ridge Arroyo. The hope and expectation is that millions will not have been spent on procuring the arroyo and then doing nothing to build an attractive trailhead. Such is the case with the Palisades where a mere $124 was spent on a sign that is now badly deteriorated. A better example of what can and should be done is the Lost Dog Trailhead built with private-public funding for much less than what the City would have spent to create a beautiful entrance to a prominent trail.
The Chair of the Open Space Advisory Board, Sherry Bonart, says: "Let's hope that the city will step up and use 2012 QOL money to build trailheads at both Bear Ridge and Franklin Hills [another Hunt property up for sale]. It's a travesty to purchase these parcels for millions of dollars and not follow through with the necessary improvements to make them fully available for the public to use."
Not to mention, fully attractive to ecotourists.