San Luis Valley Trails and Recreation Master Plan
1 Wetlands and Waterways are a Precious Resource in the Arid, High-Mountain Meadows of the San Luis Valley
2 The Great Sand Dunes National Monument
San Luis Valley Trails and Recreation Coalition
Public Policy Planning
3 The Rio Grande River
The San Luis Valley is pressured by rapidly increas-ing
growth and tourism. To offset the effects of
unplanned development and capitalize on tourism
opportunities, the valley’s six counties collaborated
with public and private groups to commission a val-ley-
wide trails and recreation master plan.
This plan, developed by Design Workshop, identified
sensitive natural and historic places to be preserved as
open space, including the Great Sand Dunes National
Monument, historic trails and sites, and waterfowl
preserves. Recreation trails and activities were placed
in buffer zones around the protected areas.
Design Workshop’s expertise in tourism planning
also addressed important economic and management
issues. The plan facilitates inter-county collaboration
on long-range regional efforts, such as improving
water management and enhancing public parks. The
project was completed in 1996 and was a recipient of
the Colorado Governor’s Smart Growth Award.
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