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Time for some (outdoor) spring cleaning

Eleven and a half years ago, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association began sponsoring the adopt-a-street program.

Since that time, a number of individuals, couples or groups have signed up to adopt a mile or half-mile section of street in their neighborhood.

The smell of spring is in the air and, alas, the snow has receded to uncover a whole lot of stuff. The trash that is surfacing faster than the crocuses will soon require attention. That which you see out your windows, on your street, in your neighborhood vacant lots — if it is starting to bother you, then it’s time to do something about it. Carry a couple of those plastic grocery bags with you when you are outside. Granted, the ground is still soft and muddy in the bottom of the ditches, but it will soon enough be firm.

Have you noticed the adopt-a-street signs posted in some of your neighborhoods? The name(s) on the sign indicate who in your neighborhood has taken on the responsibility to pick up litter on that particular stretch of road. There is already a core group of property owners who are a part of the program; they have accepted the responsibility to help keep our community clean.

The association thanks the following volunteers for participating in the Adopt-A-Street program: Mary Webb, Bart and Erica Cox, Jack and Lynn DeLange, Mojie Adler, Jim and Dagmar Huffman, Jim and Eva Iwicki, the Dermody family, Archuleta County Democrats, David and Margie Lucero, Jim Cole, John and Terri Hoehn, Joe Donovan, Jean Carson, the PLPOA, Ed Funk, Joseph and Guadalupe Rivas, Joe and Debbie Hannigan, Bruce and Nettie Trenk, The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Bill and Jean Bechtold, the Brinkmanns, and Tom and Ming Steen.

If you’d like to help these volunteers by adopting a stretch of street of your own, contact Larry Lynch at the PLPOA office at 731-5635, Ext. 4. The association will supply you with bags, pick-up tools and, if you wish, put your name on a sign for your stretch of road. We will also pick up and dispose of the full bags along the road if you let us know where they are located.

Along U.S. 160, trash grows faster than grass all summer long. You can say with certainty that we have no shortage of trash. There is, however, a shortage of volunteers willing and able to clean the unsightly litter. Again, thanks to groups of volunteers and individuals, that stretch of highway stays fairly clean.

Forest access

The National Forest boundary and trail system in the Turkey Springs area to our west has attracted a lot of users over the past two or three years, as more and more people are utilizing the numbered association gates to access the forest. The association is planning on constructing a parking and trailhead facility near Gate 5 this spring and early summer.

This parking area will be located just off of North Pagosa Boulevard near the Mockingbird intersection. It is an area that has grown in popularity over the past couple of years and is situated at the north end of Martinez Canyon. The Forest Service is working on a Turkey Springs Trail Management Plan for the trails in that area. Some of the trails may be realigned, some new designations will be implemented and new informational signs will be installed at key locations.

The association also recently negotiated a recreational lease agreement with the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) on a San Juan National Forest boundary property located in the Martinez Mountain Estates subdivision right off of North Pagosa Boulevard. This is the property where the PAWSD Highlands Lagoon waste water treatment facility is located, at approximately the five-mile mark. PAWSD is planning on decommissioning this facility this summer after having successfully installed a new pipeline that will route all the wastewater directly into the Vista wastewater treatment plant. The old lagoons will be filled in and reclaimed, and the property restored to a natural condition. It’s the perfect spot for a trailhead and parking area, and the association is planning on developing this property with a parking and trail access amenity sometime in the next year or two.

On a related topic: the National Forest boundary fence.

This is the fence line that runs along the forest boundary from Lake Forest Estates all the way north through five subdivisions and ends at Piedra Road. This fence was installed by the association years ago to keep rangeland cattle out of the subdivisions. It is association owned and maintained. The Department of Property and Environment repairs the fence every spring, which sometimes can take as long as three weeks depending on the severity of the winter. We do run into a number of places in the fence line where people have cut the fence for access into the forest. Please do not cut the fence! There can be several hundred head of cattle in the area during the summers. There are handout maps at the PLPOA office that show the locations of the association-installed, general access gates and where it is best to access the forest.

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