Inside RFTA's artistic transformation of the Rio Grande Trail
The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority was a 2020 CBCA Business for the Arts Awards honoree
The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA), which serves Pitkin County and a portion of Eagle County, was recently honored by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) on March 10 at the Business for the Arts Awards for its collaboration with Carbondale Arts to transform a section of the Rio Grande Trail into the Rio Grande ArtWay.
RFTA manages the largest portion of the Rio Grande Trail, which runs from Glenwood Springs to Aspen and serves as a multi-use trail, protected from vehicular traffic.
“The inspiration for the ArtWay came from the Carbondale Creative District planning effort,” says Brett Meredith, RFTA trails and corridor manager. “We wanted to create a destination of its own and get people outside, using trails, and introduce folks to our community and local artists.”
The ArtWay, which occupies a 1-mile portion of this trail, was created in collaboration with 250 locals, artists, designers, architects and businesses. Not only did the project see the creation of public art sculptures, murals, youth artwork and a Latino Folk Ark Garden, but the community planted hundreds of pounds of native grass and flower seed, planted over 275 new plants and 10 new trees.
“Essentially, we have transformed a boring, weed infested, and unused section of old railroad corridor into a vibrant linear park,” Meredith says. “Projects like the ArtWay show that people really do want to be involved in something bigger than just themselves. People want to be involved with positive projects and create the change they are craving.”
Learn more about RFTA’s award-winning transformation of the Rio Grande Trail below:
To learn more about the CBCA Business for the Arts Awards and to meet the other 2020 honorees, click here.