City Council Meeting - FINAL

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Meeting Date: 09/20/2022  
Co-Submitter: Rebecca Sayers From: Robert Wallace, Open Space Specialist

Consideration and Adoption of Resolution No. 2022-46 and Approval of Grant Agreement: A resolution of the Flagstaff City Council, authorizing the award of a Grant Agreement between the City of Flagstaff and Arizona State Parks, Recreational Trails Grant for the maintenance of Picture Canyon Preserve.
1) Read Resolution No. 2022-46 by title only.
2) City Clerk reads Resolution No. 2022-46 by title only (if approved above)
3) Adopt Resolution No. 2022-46
4) Authorize the Grant Agreement between the Arizona State Parks Board and the City of Flagstaff, Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Events (PROSE) Division for the Recreational Trails Program Grant to support the maintenance of Picture Canyon Preserve, in the amount of $126,270, with a participant match of $30,300.
Executive Summary:
Funding will allow the restoration and repair of trails at Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve. An extensive system of unauthorized roads and trails was mapped and photographed throughout the Preserve as part of a survey project. These abandoned roads and social routes cause erosional damage and directly impact vegetation and cultural resources. Restoration is needed to protect this National Register-listed cultural site and the plant and wildlife habitat.
Work funded by the grant will address delayed maintenance, including:
  • Renovation and maintenance of existing trails, including repairing 0.78 miles and rerouting 0.08 miles of the Tom Moody/Don Weaver trails
  • Mitigate and restore damage to areas surrounding trails through naturalizing closed roads/ unauthorized trails, including removing 0.61 miles of old roadbeds, and revegetating 4.27 miles or 45,000 sq ft of impacted areas
  • Reinforce existing rules and regulations with the installation of regulation, boundary, archeological site, and trail signs
  • Provide interpretation and trail information, through signs and publications
Financial Impact:
Grant funds will provide $126,270, with a participant match of $30,300, for a total project cost of $156,570. The City of Flagstaff Open Space section will provide a $4,500 in-kind match, while participant and volunteer match will provide $25,800. The project will be completed by 6/30/2025.  This grant was budgeted in the General Fund, under the PROSE Division in account 001-11-159-0665-5-4290.
Policy Impact:
Contributes to the implementation of the Open Space and Greenways Plan
Connection to PBB Priorities/Objectives, Carbon Neutrality Plan & Regional Plan:
Priority Based Budget Key Community Priorities and Objectives
  • Safe and Healthy Community:
    • Promote physical health through providing recreation opportunities, parks, open space and multiple transportation options.
  • Inclusive and Engaged Community:
    • Foster community pride and civic engagement by increasing opportunities for public involvement, in line with best practices and legal requirements.
    • Ensure city facilities, services, and programs are accessible for all residents and representative of Flagstaff’s diverse community.
  • Sustainable, Innovative Infrastructure:
    • Utilize existing long-range plans that identify the community’s future infrastructure needs and all associated costs.
  • Robust Resilient Economy:
    • Embrace and invest in responsible tourism opportunities to promote economic development.
  • Livable Community:
    • Provide amenities and activities that support a healthy lifestyle.
  • Environmental Stewardship:
    • Promote, protect and enhance a healthy, sustainable environment and its natural resources.
    • Engage community members through education and volunteer opportunities.
    • Increase the private sector’s participation in environmental stewardship efforts.
    • Strengthen Flagstaff’s resilience to climate change impacts on built, natural, economic, health, and social systems.
Carbon Neutrality Plan
This funding supports CNP implementation, especially Goal One: Achieve carbon neutrality by 2030; and Goal Two: Prepare Flagstaff's communities, systems, and resources to be more resilient to climate change impacts. The most aligned CNP carbon neutrality plan numbers are DD-3, DD-2, and ES-2:
Carbon Neutrality Plan Strategy 1
DD-3: Encourage Flagstaff residents and visitors to walk, bike, roll and take the bus.
Carbon Neutrality Plan Strategy 2
DD-2: Create inclusive networks for walking and biking that are continuous, attractive, safe, comprehensive, and convenient for people of all ages.
Carbon Neutrality Plan Strategy 3
ES-2: Proactively engage community members on an ongoing basis.
Regional Plan
Vision: In 2030, the Flagstaff region maintains a healthy system of open lands supporting the natural environment and our quality of life through stewardship by regional stakeholders.
  • Goal LU.3. Continue to enhance the region's unique sense of place within the urban, suburban, and rural context (Policy LU.3.3).
  • Goal CC.2. Preserve, restore, and rehabilitate heritage resources to better appreciate our culture.
  • Goal ED.7. Continue to promote and enhance Flagstaff’s unique sense of place as an economic driver.
  • Policy OS.1.4. Use open space as opportunities for non-motorized connectivity, to interact with nature, and to enjoy the views and quiet. 
  • Policy OS.1.5. Integrate open space qualities into the built environment.
Has There Been Previous Council Decision on This:
Consideration and Adoption of Resolution No. 2020-46: A resolution adopting the Management Plan for Legally-Designated Open Space Properties.
Options and Alternatives:

Option A – Adopt Resolution No. 2022-XX as submitted and authorize the grant agreement between the Arizona State Parks Board (BOARD) and The City of Flagstaff, Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Events (PROSE) (PROJECT SPONSOR) for the Recreational Trails Program Grant in the amount of $126,270. with a participant match of $30,300. This option allows staff to implement collaborative processes for maintaining and restoring roads and trails at the Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve for the benefit of the community.

Option B – Do not adopt Resolution No. 2022-XX and do not authorize the grant agreement between the Arizona State Parks Board (BOARD) and The City of Flagstaff Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Events (PROJECT SPONSOR) for the Recreational Trails Program Grant thus declining grant funds in the amount of $126,270. This option does not allow staff to implement collaborative processes for maintaining and restoring roads and trails at the Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve for the benefit of the community.
The City of Flagstaff’s Open Space Program was founded in 1998 as an outgrowth of the Flagstaff Area Open Space and Greenways Plan. The program, now a section of the PROSE Division, exists to protect and restore Flagstaff’s natural, cultural, and scenic resources to enhance recreational and educational opportunities for residents and visitors. Open Space properties managed by the section serve as a land resource, recreational destination, wildlife habitat, and transportation corridor while protecting other natural resources.
Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve is a 478-acre designated open space property on the east side of Flagstaff behind the Wildcat Wastewater Treatment Plant and Coconino County Public Works Yard. Picture Canyon features 700 petroglyphs and associated habitation and resource processing features, a waterfall fed by the Rio de Flag/reclaimed water, and an array of native plants and wildlife. Unmanaged public use of the property prior to the City’s acquisition resulted in a network of unofficial, user-created roads traversing the Preserve. Many of these roads are unnecessary and lead to dead ends. Some are causing erosion, segmenting wildlife habitat, and facilitating illegal dumping and/or illegal vehicle trespass onto the property. Also, since the Preserve opened to the public numerous unauthorized routes have led to impacts on vegetation and cultural sites. Given that the City purchased this property using funding from the Arizona State Parks Growing Smarter grant, the City is required to manage it as a non-motorized property to protect the conservation values associated with the grant.
In addition, this project:
  • Supports all 7 Priority Based Budget (PBB) Priorities
  • Upholds Quadrant 2 level PBB programming
  • Contributes to Carbon Neutrality Plan strategies
Key Considerations:
The Management Plan for open space provides a framework for managing the natural, ecological, historical, and recreational resources to minimize conflict and degradation, and serves as a resource to guide decision-making processes for designated open space properties.

The Plan identifies five overarching management goals for designated open space properties, which are listed below. This resolution and grant agreement directly support all the goals.
  1. To maintain, restore, and enhance the natural ecosystem processes of these properties, including watershed health (including intermittent streams), forest structure, native plant communities, and rare habitat types.
  2. To protect cultural resources present within these properties.
  3. To maintain and protect diverse and healthy wildlife populations.
  4. To provide opportunities for public use of these properties through passive recreational use, resource interpretation, education, scientific research, and other compatible activities in a manner that is consistent with the preservation of the conservation values of the site and the management goals.
  5. To maintain and develop partnerships that facilitate resource management, stewardship, and conservation.  
Expanded Financial Considerations:
On-going funding for maintenance and conservation are needed to keep up the Preserve. This work is funded by two primary sources. Some projects are included in the Open Space base budget of $47,000. Additionally, volunteer groups donate their time to complete projects at no cost to the city. Though these means support maintenance needs, they do not cover all demands. This grant funding will allow the Open Space section to make progress toward addressing backlogged maintenance needs for trails and restoration. 
Community Benefits and Considerations:
This funding will permit the continuation of our current level of service. The Open Space section works hard to provide recreational opportunities and maintain open space but does not have the capacity to meet all needs.
  • We offer the community great places to walk, bike, run, and participate in other outdoor activities.
  • We are receiving the highest ever visitation. Trail counters installed at various locations at the three main regional preserves indicate that for FY 2021-22, we received over 99,000 visitors.
  • We provided science programs (e.g., forest ecology, plants, astronomy, and wildlife) for students and visitors at multiple open space properties and in classrooms. Programming reached approximately 775 students and 382 adults for FY 2021-22.
  • The Open Space Stewards program has 30 core year-round volunteers. During FY 2021-22, the section also coordinated an additional 147 volunteers who provided trash clean-up, graffiti mitigation, input on projects, and trail work for open space, contributing 1,061 hours of volunteer time.
Community Involvement:
Staff collaborates with numerous educational partners. This application for the Recreational Trails Program Grant was supported by:
  • Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience
  • Coconino Natural Resource Conservation District
  • Conservation Study Forum
  • Friends of the Rio de Flag
  • Picture Canyon Working Group
  • Open Spaces Commission
  • Friends of Flagstaff’s Future
Res. 2022-46
Grant Agreement
Regional Open Space Preserve Map


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