On October 19th, PPORA issued a press release focusing on OPPI’s new milestone in the planning process for their Vision Plan.  In order to steward the environment while also expanding recreational opportunities, OPPI has formed a diverse task force to address needs in the Pikes Peak Region. This task force works to discuss natural resources, recreational opportunities, management, funding, and more.  We have been meeting with individual sub-committee groups, diving into recommendations for the region, centered around the future of recreation conservation.  The press release dives into some of these needs and proposals, as linked below.

Below is a snapshot of the press release:

As a recap of work conducted to this point and which inform and provide interrelated building
blocks for the Vision Plan, we’d like to share some key accomplishments.
• OPPI formed a diverse Task Force comprised of land managers, and conservation and
recreation partners across El Paso, Teller and Fremont counties who provide strategic
leadership to the process.
• Early on, OPPI evaluated over 100 planning documents from the region to glean
existing values and goals for the region’s outdoors and followed this with a land
manager needs assessment to learn management and operational goals and
• Through partnership with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), the
Outdoor Pikes Peak Data Hub was developed for communicating outdoor-related
information to the public and community leaders of the Pikes Peak region for better
understanding, recognition of value, and thoughtful fact-based planning and
• Through partnership with the Colorado Tourism Office, PPORA conducted a
benchmark survey and analysis of the region’s outdoor industry to better
understand needs and aspirations and to inform this planning from the industry
stakeholder perspective.
• OPPI also identified and evaluated 16 innovative and effective management and
funding models from across the nation to learn best practices that could be applied to
our region. The Task Force narrowed this to four models for deeper analysis.
• Important to this process is engaging with elected officials. The OPPI project team, to
date, has met with Woodland Park, Cripple Creek, Victor, Monument, and Colorado
Springs city councils and El Paso and Fremont County Commissioners. (Teller County
Commissioners canceled and has not been rescheduled.)
• OPPI conducted the first round of community engagement through 11 listening
sessions across the three counties, as well as online surveying and pop-up outreach
events. Hundreds of participants attended and provided feedback on challenges,
opportunities, and big ideas related to the region’s natural resources and outdoor
recreation opportunities. Through this outreach, as well as direct emails, OPPI received
over 2,000 individual comments that were categorized and brought into the next phase
of the project.
“The community engagement stage of this planning initiative has hands down been the most
exciting and informative,” said PPORA Executive Director Becky Leinweber. “Hearing directly
from the people who enjoy our region’s natural and recreation assets and are invested in the
future has been the best part of this multi-stage process so far, and their concerns and
aspirations weigh heavily on the project leadership. I look forward to the next opportunity for
engagement with the public after the first of the year.”

View full press release here

Join us for our listening sessions January 22nd-27th. Stay tuned for more information to come.