The city of Durango is stepping up its land management efforts in 2021 with the help of a $140,600 Great Outdoors Colorado grant.
The GOCO Resilient Communities grant pays for one-time, immediate needs that have emerged in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic. With the money, Durango will create four new positions to assist with land management, wayfinding signage and stewardship efforts.
The Durango City Council approved providing matching funds, about $33,800, during a meeting Tuesday. The nonprofit Durango Trails also contributed $6,400 in matching funds.
The grant and matching funds will support two Durango Trails seasonal crew leaders and two city of Durango open space rangers.
Mayor Pro Tem Kim Baxter said she is looking forward to the investment, in part, because Durango has seen greater numbers of people using its trails in 2020.
Outdoor recreation became a preferred option during the coronavirus pandemic. The increased usage resulted in extensive resource degradation, a rise in the creation of social trails and an increase in pet waste and trash, city staff members said.
The wayfinding work will also help people navigate trails and identify their locations in case of emergency, Baxter said.
“I think this is exciting ... and look forward to the wayfinding signage improvement,” she said.