NewsCovering Colorado


Paint Mines protection⏤A new plan in the works

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 12:50:29-05

EL PASO COUNTY — Work is starting to figure out a better way to protect the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in eastern El Paso County.

“The master planning process just started,” said Ross Williams with El Paso County Parks

Heavy visitation and misuse is taking a toll on the historic preservation site.

Park visitors are supposed to stay on designated paths and enjoy the views, but there is a growing issue of people going off trail.

“Most of it is people who just want to explore, they see that hill, let's go climb it, they see that thing, let's go over and take a photo by it, or let's take a photo on top of it,” said Williams.

A goal of the master plan is to incorporate elements of the park that educate people about the fragile nature of the park.

“They may not understand that their one small footprint may not be apparently causing damage, but when 30,000 People do the exact same thing, damages do start.”

Lyda Hill Philanthropies, El Pomar Foundation, and Next Era Energy Resources have already generously donated to improvements at the park the help with its preservation.

Once completed, the master plan will expand preservation efforts.

“Formulate a plan that controls crowds a lot, but at the same time allows them to fully enjoy it without degradation to the natural environment,” said Williams.

The goal is to incorporate modern methods to better protect the site.

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