The Pineries Open Space, which spans the Palmer Divide,is the largest open space holding under County ownership at 1,067 acres. The Palmer Land Trust holds a conservation easement on 1,040 acres of the open space. It contains a variety of vegetation communities, including plants that are rare and unusual in Colorado, and mature Ponderosa Pine forest that is classified as old growth. By preservation of the property in its natural condition, with limited and appropriately sited recreation uses, the scenic, wildlife, and ecological values that currently exist on the property will also be preserved and maintained. The conservation easement and Master Plan developed in 2010 allow for planned public access and development with focus on trails. Access will be off of Vollmer and Shoup roads and is currently available from Vollmer Road with an access easement crossing privately owned land. Trailheads are planned with facilities for non-motorized users and equestrians, along with restroom and interpretive signage highlighting the property's natural assets.
El Paso County Parks has begun the Phase I Implementation process and is currently working on the design of Phase I improvements, including a trailhead with entrance from Vollmer road, the addition of non-motorized trails, and other park amenities. Phase I improvements are based on the Pineries Open Space Master Plan, and are funded from the 2014 voter-approved County Park Ballot Question 1A as well as regional park fees.
The Pineries Open Space Master Plan, Phase I Improvements, and other information on the property is available below:
Forest and Noxious Weed Management Plans were developed to assist with long-term management of the open space.
El Paso County is currently seeking partnerships with local organizations to coordinate volunteer driven recovery projects. Future volunteer projects will be listed in this section, please visit the links below to learn about other volunteer opportunities.