CITY OF BOULDER
OPEN SPACE AND MOUNTAIN PARKS
2520 55th Street
Boulder, CO 80301
Public Comment on the OSMP Master Plan focus area COMMUNITY CONNECTION, EDUCATION, AND INCLUSION
To Whom It May Concern:
Mountain bikers have helped protect open space for recreation and public enjoyment for decades. Locally, the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance is donating hundreds of hours of volunteer labor by dozens of volunteers every year to make trails on open space more sustainable, improve the surrounding nature habitat, and connect people with nature. We know what it takes to develop relationships with land management agencies and engage our members and our volunteers.
We appreciate the opportunity to provide input on this focus area of the OSMP Master Plan.
Sense of Place and Reduce Stress and Increase Wellness
The physical and mental benefits of recreating outdoors are undisputed. People head onto open space to exercise, develop skills, recharge, enjoy themselves, and have fun. Recreating on open space has been proven to reduce digital addiction and nature deficit disorder among the young generation – the people who will one day take over open space protection and management from us.
Outdoor recreation is an effective way of connecting people with the land and teaching them to e responsible and protect it as a precious resource. Folks who experience the benefits of open space are more likely to support raising taxes and spending public money on protecting more land.
We believe that OSMP has an active role to play and provide opportunities for people to enjoy open space in ways that help them reduce stress and increase wellness. Visitors should feel encouraged to build skills and take on new challenges which improve their personal connection to the natural world.
Opportunities for All and Youth Discovery and Appreciation of Nature
With the help from OSMP staff, BMA has provided opportunity for high school students to learn about open space and give back to the community by helping build and maintain trails. Developing a connection to open space while building skill and making trails more sustainable are benefits we are glad to see identified by OSMP staff in preparation for this focus area.
Stewardship Opportunities to Connect People to the Land and Give Back to the Community
BMA has taken advantage of volunteer opportunities to serve and to develop skills, experience and leadership, and we are committed to continue working with staff to make this program even better. We understand that community members serve a vital role in supporting OSMP staff with the stewardship of open space.
The success of the many years of persistent community outreach and trail user education by the Boulder Mountainbike Patrol (BMBP) and the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (BMA) are undisputed. This again is a multi-level program that teaches people (patrollers) the value of open space and its rules and regulations, who then go out and help improve the experience of other visitors, reduce trail user conflict, and prevent damage to the treasured land by acting as eyes and ears of law enforcement.
Community outreach through organizations like BMA provide a greater reach and promises higher success rate when looking to build a stewardship ethic and a sense of caring for other trail users, plants and animals.
While promoting the benefits and joys of mountain biking and seeking to establish equal and fair access for all trail users, BMA has always been primarily a land stewardship organization. We are actively working with the land management agencies in Boulder County to expand and protect our community’s open space legacy.
When looking to the trail building work BMA volunteers have done recently on High Plains and Doudy Draw that resulted in more sustainable and fun trail segments while reducing their impact on nearby habitat, together with the continuing outreach and education by the Boulder Mountain Bike Patrol (BMBP), it is obvious we are already practicing successfully what has been proposed to be adopted in OSMP’s Master Plan.
People are more likely to protect open space when they feel connected to these wild places and when they value what it has to offer. Targeted education helps develop this connection and BMA and BMBP are committed to doing our share in close cooperation with OSMP staff.
Hans Joachim Preis
Boulder Mountainbike Alliance