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Top of the Pines is an outstandingly beautiful outdoor recreation, environmental education facility and open space preserve.
Located at the foot of the Sneffels Range in southwest Colorado and In close proximity to Ouray, Ridgway and Telluride, this 175-acre wilderness jewel offers local communities and visitors a remarkable place to learn, recreate, and celebrate, while also providing a most attractive gathering place for everyone interested in exploring the beauty of the San Juans.
HOW WE GOT HERE
When the Girl Scouts decided to let this camp go in the 90s and it looked like it might become private property, the Ridgway community jumped in. Funds were raised to purchase it, and then it was turned over to Ouray County to maintain as a magnificent public resource. The TOP, Inc. 501(c)(3) volunteer Board now manages this outstanding property on behalf of the County and all users. However, even with enthusiastic support from the County, TOP is responsible for raising funds and providing for volunteer help.
To find your way to this remarkable mountain hideaway, see our Getting Here page.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT TOP:
For this year our focus has been on doing work at the site which both satisfies the requirements of Federal, State and County criteria and making improvements to the existing infrastructure. This work has included:
- Complete cleanup of all the old Girl Scout debris and construction material that has lain scattered over the area for many years. Much of the old wood had nails in it (a no-no for all users). The equivalent of 22 pick-up loads has been collected and disposed of; plus a consolidation into piles of wood that can be disposed of later.
- Completion of the last 2 of 9 campsites, repainting of the wooden picnic tables and the assembly of 3 steel benches.
- The cleaning up and epoxy painting (floors and walls) of two toilet structures plus pouring of concrete floors.
- Building stairs and other safety structures to satisfy the County building codes, plus other repairs.
- Stripping down of the warming hut and doing work (in progress now) to put on a new roof, strengthen the integrity of the building to meet code, supply and install proper windows and a door plus install a new paver floor over gravel and sand. We thank Allison Construction, Lowry Excavation and SAKO Gravel and Sand for their help.
- Re-staining of part of the Pavilion exterior to keep it protected from the elements.
- Creating a new designated main parking area.
- Re-doing of the main entrance signs and erection of other directional signage.
- The payment of $6,700 to the County as part cost to fill in and resurface Highland Drive for easier access to the property. (The County has been most helpful in this necessary endeavor).
- Worked closely with the Ouray County BOCC to strengthen our relationship. Joint work session and one-on-ones.
- Produced a new website (www.topofthepines.org), new brochures, T shirts and promotional ads for RACC.
- $21,421 of in-kind forest health work at TOP with the help of the Colorado State Forest Service.
TOP, Inc. is currently raising money to complete renovation of the old pavilion, add infrastructure improvements, create hike/bike trails and camping sites and turn this stunning wilderness area into a one-of-a-kind facility for community events, learning, and play. The plans include adding a kitchen, yurts, indoor toilets and showers, audio-visual equipment and more.
To accomplish all this, we are pursuing grant money, but grantors want to know that locals support the project with their time and money. This is a prerequisite for success, i.e. grant donors want to see that there is tangible community support.
Please help us turn this opportunity into a reality!
* Contribute through our “Contribute” link: http://topofthepines.org/contribute/
* Contribute through our crowdsourcing GOFUNDME: http://www.gofundme.com/top-of-the-pines