January 8, 2018 Submitted By George Barnett
Today the County Department of Parks & Recreation advised Alpine Community Planning Group members and others that the Board of Supervisors is expected to approve tomorrow a land purchase in Alpine for a town park. The proposed land is 98 acres abutting Wright’s Field along South Grade Road.
This is good news for Alpine as the purchase preserves the land from residential development, and together with the portion of Wright’s Field owned by the Back Country Land Trust, it extends preserved passive parkland right in the middle of our town to a plot nearly 330 acres in size.
This to me is also a fitting tribute to Supervisor Dianne Jacob who is finishing her long and distinguished career in 2020 as Supervisor of the 2nd District and the Backcountry. She has been Alpine’s strongest advocate for conservation, improved roads, better law enforcement, and our local schools, and for parkland.
Below is a map of the proposed land purchase (IN YELLOW) and the Back Country Land Trust (BCLT) owned parts of Wright’s Field bounded in white. All together, this County acquisition and BCLT property provides Alpine with a wonderful, unsurpassed passive parkland of immense environmental value. How many towns anywhere have a 330 acre environmental preserve & parkland in their middle?
The public has always been invited to use BCLT’s private-owned portion of WF north of South Grade Road as a “passive parkland”. By definition that means open to the general public for hiking, horseback riding, dog walking, star gazing, and so on – all passive activities with the only requirements to stay on the trails, to leash dogs, to pickup after dogs and to not leave trash behind. The County is buying 98 acres of WF not owned by BCLT, but from a speculative Dallas-based investor LLC. My understanding is that the County will also plan on passive uses, that is – no active sports playing fields. Maybe there’ll be picnic places, a pavilion, a kiddie playground, or things of that nature that town’s people want. But we’ll find that out in due course when the County presents some plans to Alpiners. The County is also supporting plans to upgrade the playing fields at Joan MacQueen Middle School (which are deemed active parkland), and those existing facilities currently serve la cross, soccer, soft ball and limited track and field, with the softball fields possibly becoming dual use with football. The final plan is in the hands of the Alpine Union School District.
George Barnett email@example.com