Aspen Valley Land Trust attempting to buy ‘Marble Basecamp’ | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Valley Land Trust attempting to buy ‘Marble Basecamp’

Staff report

A Carbondale-based nonprofit is asking for the public's help in buying a piece of property near Marble so it can continue to be used as a wilderness camp for children.

The 47-acre parcel is located at about 9,000 feet between the Raggeds Wilderness and the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness areas about 2 miles from the town of Marble. Previous landowners have allowed Aspen Middle School students to use the "Marble Basecamp" for about 45 years as part of the district's Outdoor Education Program.

Now the property is up for sale, and the Aspen Valley Land Trust is raising funds to try and buy it, according to a statement from the nonprofit. The total project cost is $550,000 and, so far, the group has pending commitments from Great Outdoors Colorado and other organizations for $375,000.

That means the land trust needs to raise another $175,000 by Dec. 31, when a purchase option for the property expires, according to the statement.

Currently, Aspen Middle School is the only public school from the area that uses the property, though other nonprofits have brought children to the camp for various outdoor programs, said Suzanne Stephens, Aspen Valley Land Trust associate director.

If it raises the money, the land trust plans to place the property under a permanent conservation easement. If that occurs, any public school in Pitkin, Garfield, Gunnison and Eagle counties would be eligible to use the property, Stephens said.

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To donate, go to http://www.avlt.org or call the land trust at 970-963-8440.

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