Trail Talk: Meet the Snowmass parks and trails crew | AspenTimes.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Trail Talk: Meet the Snowmass parks and trails crew

Staff shares a love for the outdoors, commitment to town parks and trails

Brandon Hawksley
Special to the Snowmass Sun
The Snowmass Village parks and trails crew poses for a photo outside the recreation center in Town Park: (from left) Kane Martens, Brandon Hawksley, Rob “Monkey” Dasaro, Levi Burke, Jake Martenson, Jake Tomlin and Jason Troxel. Not pictured: Ryan Lipari.
Brandon Hawksley/Snowmass Village Parks, Open Space and Trails

The Snowmass Parks and Trails department is responsible for 25 miles of natural surface trails, 8 miles of paved and crusher fine trails, 18 bridges, five trailheads, four playgrounds, 8 acres of turf, 4 acres of native areas, 1.5 acres of gardens, one community garden, 12 irrigation systems and three parks.

It’s no easy task to maintain all of it each summer season, and it certainly couldn’t be done without the seven dedicated staff members of the parks and trails department. Their commitment and dedication to the parks and trails help maintain our town’s status as a world-renowned destination. The skills and professionalism that they bring to work every day keep Snowmass looking her best and allow us all to enjoy her many parks and trails with ease.

If you see any of the crew members out on the trails, don’t hesitate to say hello. And in the meantime, take a moment to get to know them a little bit better in this month’s Trail Talk.



Jake Tomlin

Years with Parks, Open Space and Trails (POST): First year in the department

Originally from: New Jersey; moving to Carbondale in November




Other jobs: Snowmass Ski Patrol in the winter season; part-time bike patrol during the summer

What you enjoy outside of work: Skiing, mountain biking, river sports, camping

Favorite part of the job: The people I work with

Hardest part of the job: Sometimes dealing with decisions that were made that are out of our hands and even our boss’s hands.

Favorite park or trail: Campground Connector or West Government

Jake Martenson

Years with POST: Two summer seasons

Originally from: Winchester, Virginia

What you enjoy outside of work: Fly-fishing, training my avalanche dog Lando, Star Wars

Favorite part of the job: The crew is awesome and there’s something different every day

Favorite park or trail: North Rim is the best.

Hardest part of the job: Preparing for the Jazz Aspen-Snowmass Labor Day Experience can be frustrating .

Robert “Monkey” Dasaro

Years with POST: First season with the department

Originally from: Mad River Valley, Vermont, but I’ve been in in the Roaring Fork Valley for about 30 years.

What you enjoy outside of work: Mountain biking, paddle boarding, playing music and making nice dinners for friends.

Favorite part of the job: The team I work with and creating a nice product for the community.

Favorite park or trail: My favorite parks are the softball and soccer field and Cathy Robinson Park. My favorite trail would be Tom Blake, especially during fall foliage time.

Hardest part of the job: I don’t think there is a task we can’t handle as a collective team, each with our own sets of diverse talents.

Snowmass Village trail crew member Jake Tomlin works at the top of the North Mesa Equestrian Trail.
Brandon Hawksley/Snowmass Village Parks, Open Space and Trails

Kane Martens

Years with POST: Seven years

Originally from: Iowa, but I’ve been living in Snowmass for seven years.

What you enjoy outside of work: Rafting and running kids to sporting events.

Favorite part of the job: The people I work with.

Hardest part of the job: The aftermath of events.

Favorite park or trail: The softball field — our team won the championship this season!!!!

Ryan Lipari

Years with POST: Three years, year-round

Originally from: Rochester, New York. I have been in the valley for seven years.

What you enjoy outside of work: I run my own trail-building company, and I mountain bike, climb mountains and snowboard whenever I can.

Favorite part of the job: Being able to give back to all the users by doing the maintenance the trails need in order to keep them at the high standard that they are. It is also great to be outside all summer long, all over Snowmass Village, and to have the immediate gratification of testing out the trail product on a bike after work is completed.

Hardest part of the job: One of the biggest challenges of the whole job is prioritizing in the early spring. With the winter operations closing and the snow melting, it is a rush to get the trails ready for all the users in the spring and summer. Between the downed trees, muddy sections and the corridor being overgrown on all the trails we are responsible for, it is our busiest time of the year. Picking and choosing what maintenance to address first is no easy task, especially when there’s a lot that needs to be done. It’s a fun challenge, though, and each year I have been working for the town of Snowmass, it has been greatly improving.

Favorite park or trail: Banzai, Gonzo and Deadline. My favorite thing about the Snowmass trail system is that you can link so many different styles of trail up in one ride.

The Snowmass Village parks and trails crew works alongside the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps.
Brandon Hawksley/Snowmass Village Parks, Open Space and Trails

Jason Troxel

Years with POST: Six

Originally from: Pensacola, Florida

What you enjoy outside of work: Raising my boy who is 14, skiing, biking and growing things in my garden.

Favorite part of the job: Working outside, with my hands, for the benefit of the community.

Hardest part of the job: Dealing with decisions made by management that don’t jive with my logic. I would prefer a more democratic approach to decisions that can affect everyone so everyone gets a say, instead of the usual top-down approach.

Favorite park or trail: Cathy Robinson Park, because it’s quiet and has the best grass. If the North Mesa equestrian trail was ever to become an e-bike trail, that would be my new favorite. I would really like to see trails limited by user groups and direction.

Levi Burke

Years with POST: Two seasons of fun

Originally from: Northwest Florida

What you enjoy outside of work: I spend most of my time outside enjoying our backyard here in the Roaring Fork Valley

Favorite part of the job: Our awesome crew, wouldn’t change it for anything!!

Hardest part of the job: There isn’t a challenge our knowledgeable team can’t come up with a solution for.

Favorite park or trail: All of our trails. It’s always fun to go back and appreciate the hard work our crew does!!

SEE YOU NEXT SUMMER

This is the final summer installment of our monthly “Trail Talk” column. The “Teen Spotlight” series, which features writers from Aspen High School’s Skier Scribbler, returns in October and runs on the third Wednesday of the month through June.

Brandon Hawksley is the Parks, Open Space and Trails manager for the town of Snowmass Village. He writes the Snowmass Sun’s “Trail Talk” column, which runs once a month throughout the summer.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.