Projects of the Independence Pass Foundation

Each annual work season, the Independence Pass Foundation embarks on a challenging series of projects throughout the Independence Pass corridor identified as being most urgent. Since 1996, IPF has focused on stabilization and revegetation of the area known as the "Top Cut." IPF has completed four major projects in this severely eroded stretch of Highway 82 over Independence Pass, including construction of boulder stabilization walls at the Twin Gullies, Big Cut and Middle Cut. In any given year, however, IPF undertakes a variety of other projects that restore the natural beauty, improve the safety, and enhance the recreational value of the corridor.

As the world changes — Facebook, Twitter and Mobile Phone Apps were not part of our thinking just a few short years ago — IPF is changing with it. Our mission is evolving as we complete many of the long-term projects that we began at our founding. But with this evolution come new opportunities, and we look forward to grasping those opportunities. Our partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Department of Corrections, Pitkin County, and City of Aspen remain strong and productive even in this time of shrinking government funding. Support from our private donors, however, is what sustains IPF.

In the autumn of 2014, inmates from the Buena Vista Correctional Facility helped rehabilitate the popular ridgeline trail at the summit. We removed one track from what was originally a two-track jeep road, and improved the remaining trail to reduce erosion and enhance safety. Since 1997, inmates have spent over 20,000 hours providing invaluable assistance to IPF on a wide range of projects.
Tours of the Pass help IPF educate the community about the Pass. On August 7, Executive Director Mark Fuller led a group of seniors on a Braille Trail tour. In 1962, the Braille Trail was the first trail developed specifically for use by the blind in the U.S. It has inspired dozens of such trails nationwide.