RIDGWAY, Jan. 2, 8:10 a.m. – A renovation effort of the county-owned Top of the Pines mountain camp is well underway, according to Tim Manzagol, board secretary of TOP, Inc.
The Ouray Board of
The 175-acre outdoor educational and recreational facility southwest of Ridgway on County Road 5 was acquired by
Manzagol reported that projects completed in 2007 included a Nordic ski trail system of seven kilometers of groomed trails; preparation of architectural drawings for the pavilion renovation; replacement of the old well pump system; completion of a partial renovation of the old stone fireplace cabin for use as a winter warming hut; and grading of a portion of the parking lot and entry road.
The TOP board of directors asked the commissioners to approve an extension of the Management Agreement for an additional five-year period to continue renovation and operation of the property for purposes of preservation of local open space, wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation and education. The goal is to make the camp a “comfortably rustic” year-round regional facility with the Montrose and Telluride communities also participating in its use.
“We gave a tour to Susan St. James with the Telluride Foundation and she was definitely impressed,” Manzagol said.
The plan is estimated to cost $1-1.2 million, and includes an office-headquarters outfitted with modern internet/multi-media capacity and utilities for winter operation; a central yurt equipped for central meeting/presentation area; and a library/exhibits building that would contain a resource library, study and work areas.
In 2008, TOP volunteers will be installing men’s and women’s plumbed bathrooms and a septic system. Utilities from the well to the pavilion will be installed, with rock trenching needed to install the key lines “so that the pavilion can be operated year round,” Manzagol added. The main pavilion, upon completion, will include a full kitchen, office and storage space, restrooms, and a dining area that accommodates 150 people.
“We have pushed up the completion of the pavilion construction. This will allow the facility to be used by more groups in the near future and will provide TOP, Inc. the ability to raise more use fee money to fund the tent platforms, shower facility and other out buildings,” Manzagol said.
Use of the campsite is allowed for pre-registered and supervised groups including families, organizations and private or corporate groups. The site is available for outdoor educational programs, leadership and team building initiatives, and the enhancement of conservation of our local natural resources through managed public exposure and education.
To date, TOP has raised through donations and fundraising about $90,000 and in December 2006 received a Great Outdoors
“If people will step up to the plate, we can finish Phase I,” said Manzagol. “We still need $40,000 in matching funds for the current GOCO. We’re still pushing to complete this phase in a timely manner. It’s very important to have the community support during the first phase.”
The report thanked the
To support TOP, a tax-deductible donation or pledge can be made to its Capital Campaign goal of $200,000. A Pinon Pal contributes $1-$99; Fir Friends, $100-$499; Spruce Sponsors, $500-$999; Cedar Contributors, $1,000-$4,999; and Ponderosa Patrons, $5,000 or more.
Groups and organizations interested in utilizing TOP can call 970/626-9788 or go to www.topofthepines.org.