Don’t Pay Someone to Destroy your Trees Hiring Licensed Tree Care Professionals

Incorrect Tree ToppingTrees planted, grown, and properly maintained within the landscapes of Grand Junction are an investment that pays back to the entire Grand Valley. Tree benefits increase as trees grow larger by providing more cooling shade, captured storm water, and filtered air population. The aesthetic beauty of large healthy shade trees attracts people to businesses, increases the time people like to spend shopping in an area, and increases the property value around them. The proper care of trees in our landscapes is key to protecting these investments and hiring the wrong person to maintain them can lead to the destruction of their long-term potential. In the interest of protecting the good health of trees, the City of Grand Junction requires individuals engaging in tree work to obtain a license through the City Forester and City Forestry Board.

According to Grand Junction city code, no person shall engage in the business of pruning or removing trees without first obtaining an annual license from the council appointed Forestry Board. The Forestry Board and City Forester have the responsibility to develop testing procedures for applicants to ensure unskilled individuals are not being paid to destroy the invested value of trees. The Grand Junction Parks and Recreation webpage provides residents with a list of licensed professional arborists to help connect people with the best local companies. With all this in place, the City Forester and Forestry Board have been surprised by the recent increase in substandard tree work in the Grand Valley.

At the January Forestry Board meeting, the City Forester and members of the board covered an agenda item around “tree topping” and bad tree work on private commercial property in various locations across the city. The board encouraged the City Forester to find a way to get the word out to residents to protect them from hiring a company that could end up destroying their tree.

Tree topping is the indiscriminate cutting of branches to create a much shorter and rounded-over canopy of stubbed branches leaving a final product that looks more like a hat rack than a tree. This type of shade tree cutting is most often performed to reduce the height of a tree to increase visibility of signage or views, and at times is requested due to a fear that large trees are dangerous. While tree topping makes trees shorter, it does not solve the desired outcome. Stub-cut tree limbs allow decay to easily enter tree branches leading to long-term hazardous conditions in trees, and the natural response of the tree is to produce numerous poorly attached small branches that grow up quickly further limiting visibility. Shade trees that have been topped have very little chance of being repaired, and it eliminates the ability of a tree to develop into a high-quality asset to a property.

While the City Forester encourages residents and business owners to take advantage of winter as a great time to hire a company to maintain private property trees, he also cautions everyone to ensure they’re hiring professional arborist to care for their trees. If you see what appears to be unskilled tree work happening in the city, take a picture and contact the City Forester.


For more information, please contact:
Primary: Rob Davis, Grand Junction City Forester, robd@gjcity.org or 970-254-3825
Secondary: Kamie Long, Forestry Board, kamie.long@colostate.edu or 970-248-7325

2019 Champion of the Arts Award

2019 Champion of the Arts PictureThe Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture proudly announces Troy Reynolds and FCI Constructors as the recipient of the 2019 Champion of the Arts Award. Troy & FCI were nominated by Gary Hauschulz, a local artist, along with 12 other artists who were involved with the 2019 Art on the Corner program. FCI has been voluntarily involved with Art on the Corner for 23 years and Troy for 19 years, and at least 100 current and past employees of FCI have been involved since the start of the program. FCI donates all of the equipment, labor, resources, skill, and expertise to effectively de-install and install the rotating exhibit, as well as relocate permanent sculptures. Every year, 8-12 employees organized by Troy appear before sunrise and work until the last sculpture is welded or bolted into place. This year there was a total of 31 sculptures. “The overwhelming support and knowledge of each volunteer from FCI is critical for the success of the Art on the Corner installation each year,” said Tina Ross, Art on the Corner Coordinator. “The physical and mechanical requirements brought by the volunteers to place the sculptures is rarely considered by the viewer. However, these behind the scenes heroes help make this all possible.”

All of the artists that participate in AOTC (Art on the Corner), some new, some for years, recognize the amazing skills, dedication and talent of the FCI crew to safely remove and set sculptures. The many quotes from participating artists echo this one from Kyle Ocean of Fort Collins who stated, “The installation process in Grand Junction for Art on the Corner is a breath of fresh air in the public art realm. The team is experienced in every aspect of installing public projects and has an answer to every hurdle you can throw their direction. They are efficient and extremely helpful, well prepared with tools and power options, and it makes the install incredibly easy and stress free. I look forward to my trips to Grand Junction in the fall and could not have higher regard for the team and program that make up Grand Junction’s Art on the Corner.”

As the award, the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture placed a call for local artists. Compliments, a collaborative piece by Mary Mansfield and Tish Collins was chosen among 40 submissions. Troy Reynolds and FCI Constructors were honored with this award at the Centennial Band’s Holiday Light on Winter Night concert on Sunday, December 15 at Grand Junction High School.

Please join us in congratulating Troy Reynolds and FCI Constructors as the recipients of the 2019 Champion of the Arts Award.


For more information, please contact:
Primary: Lorie Gregor, Recreation Coordinator   lorieg@gjcity.org or 970-254-3876
Secondary: Callie Berkson, Marketing   callieb@gjcity.org or 970-254-3867

Run for a Cause this Season!

Santa Cause 2.jpgYou don’t have to go far this holiday season… Only 3.1 miles to give for a good reason! Grand Junction Parks and Recreation is teaming up with the Grand Junction Kiwanis in an effort to continue raising funds to build all-inclusive playground equipment in parks around the Grand Valley.

It’ll be a sight to see this Saturday, December 14th on the Riverfront Trail at Las Colonias Park, as more than 100 Santa’s take off on the course at our 4th Annual Santa Cause Run. Races begin at 10:00 a.m.

Over $8,900 has been raised so far to provide all-inclusive playground e

quipment and both the City of Grand Junction and Kiwanis will work together to determine where and when the funds will be used.

“Having inclusive playground equipment means there is a variety of opportunities accessible to children of all abilities,” said Tricia Rothwell, Recreation Coordinator. “This race is a fun, festive time, and a way to celebrate the season while impacting the lives of our kids.”

If you missed the early bird deadline, race day registration opens at Las Colonias Park at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. Click here or call us at 970-254-3866 for more information or to register.

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For more information, please contact:
Primary: Tricia Rothwell, Recreation Coordinator   triciar@gjcity.org or 970-254-3801
Secondary: Callie Berkson, Marketing   callieb@gjcity.org or 970-254-3867

Parks and Recreation Holiday Programming in Full Swing

Grand Junction Parks and Recreation is gearing up for their annual holidayCandy Cane 24.jpg programming events, which kick off tonight at Enstrom’s Candy Downtown. Over 110 people are expected to attend the Annual Chocolate Walk tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m. With cocoa in hand, bundled up in coats and hats, they’ll take of through Downtown Main Street on a history or art tour, guided by industry professionals.

Tomorrow, Saturday, December 7th the 19th Annual Candy Cane Hunt will hit Stocker Stadium as hundreds of kids come to participate in the hunt for over 2,000 candy canes. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. with crafts, treats, and pictures with Frosty the Snowman. The hunt begins promptly at 11:00 a.m. This event is FREE for ages 13 and under.

Wrapping up the holiday events, we’ve partnered with the Grand Junction Kiwanis Club and we’re running for a “cause”. It will be a sight to see on Saturday, December 14th as over 100 Santa’s take off down the Riverfront Trail during the Santa Cause Run at Las Colonias Amphitheater. With a 1K for kids 12 and under, and a 5K open to all, get in the spirit of the season with a reason to give and receive. All proceeds go to purchasing inclusive playground equipment for parks around the Grand Valley. Look for more information to come next week.

Parks and Recreation wants to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!


For more information, please contact:
Callie Berkson, Marketing   callieb@gjcity.org or 505-217-6435 (cell)

2020 Grant Funding Now Available

With the approval of the Grand Junction City budget for 2020, the Grand Junction Art Grant Funding 2020.jpgCommission on Arts and Culture will have a total of $40,000 in funding available for arts and cultural projects. The grant program opens Friday, December 6, 2019 and closes Monday, February 3, 2020. Any non-profit agency or organization in the state of Colorado that is bringing a cultural experience to Grand Junction may apply for up to $4,500 in funding.

To assist organizations with the grant process, two identical trainings will be held December 11, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. and January 9, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Each training will be held at the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation office located at 1340 Gunnison Avenue. To reserve a spot, call 970-254-3876.

This art grant program helps provide employment, sales, or performance opportunities for working artists and those who work for cultural non-profits by supporting a broad range of community cultural events. In 2019, the art grant program funded 20 non-profit organizations with an economic impact of $396,000 in the community, employed 662 performers and contributed 12,000 volunteer hours to a variety of events, festivals, educational programs, and camps.

Since 1992, the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture’s art grant program has provided funding for arts and culture in our community. Appointed by City Council, this eleven member board is committed to creating a climate for arts and culture to thrive and grow.


For more information, please contact:
Primary: Lorie Gregor, Recreation Coordinator   970-254-3876 or lorieg@gjcity.org
Secondary: Callie Berkson, Marketing   970-254-3867 or callieb@gjcity.org

Parks and Recreations Indoor Pickleball Season About to Kick Off

PICKLEBALL FUN NEVER STOPS!Indoor Pickleball (2)

No matter the weather, pickleball players in the Grand Valley can play indoors seven days a week! Beginning November 18 and running through mid-March, the lights will be on and courts full at the Lincoln Park Barn. Located at 12th Street and North Avenue, the Lincoln Park Barn has three pickleball courts with times for play in the mornings and evenings, including weekends.

There are two options to pay for play. A 10-punch pass may be purchased at the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Office for $45, or drop in rates are available for $6.00 per person. Times are scheduled in three hour blocks, but are subject to change based on availability. For the most current schedule, visit bit.ly/gjprpickleball.

Many players describe Pickleball as addicting and love the camaraderie and exercise the sport provides. “Pickleball has experienced exponential growth in the last five years,” says Recreation Coordinator, Lorie Gregor. “We have added clinics, tournaments, and indoor play to our schedule.”

The City also has outdoor Pickleball courts at Pineridge in the Ridges and at Lincoln Park. All courts are free and open to the public. The best way to stay informed about all things Pickleball is to sign up for the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Pickleball Newsletter by visiting bit.ly/gjprpickleballnews.


For more information, please contact:
Primary: Lorie Gregor, Recreation Coordinator   970-254-3876 or lorieg@gjcity.org
Secondary: Callie Berkson, Marketing   505-217-6435 or callieb@gjcity.org

Parks and Recreation to Honor Veterans at City Cemeteries

The City of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Cemetery staff and community Veterans Flagsvolunteers are planning for a busy Veterans weekend as they begin to prepare to honor local Veterans on November 11.

The Cemetery staff, volunteers and community members will be showing appreciation for Veterans in multiple ways throughout the weekend. Flags, donated by volunteers and City Cemeteries, will be placed on every Memorial Stone in the Veterans Section of Orchard Mesa Cemetery on Saturday, November 9, beginning at 9:00 a.m. The flags will remain in place until Tuesday, November 12. This effort is being organized by Ron Schaefer and SJ Christ, both of whom have previously served in the United States Armed Forces.

Along with the flags, two new benches will also be placed in the Veterans sections of the Cemetery on Friday, November 9. These are being donated by Mike and Cindy Shults, Mountain Air Roasters, and Snyder Grand Valley Memorials.

In addition to City and community volunteer efforts, the Grand Junction Area Realtors Association will be creating a “Boulevard of Honor” for Veterans interred in all sections of the cemetery. Flags will be placed on the split rail fencing boarding roadways throughout the cemetery and will remain up throughout the weekend.

“It is truly humbling to see over 1,500 flags adorning the Veterans Stones after the volunteers are finished,” said Mike Vendenga, City Cemetery Supervisor. “The passion these people have to honor our Veterans is remarkable.”

The City of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department is proud to be part of these efforts and want to extend our sincerest thanks to all those who have served our great nation.


For more information, contact:
Primary: Mike Vendenga, Cemetery Supervisor   970-254-1550 or mikeven@gjcity.org
Secondary: Callie Berkson, Marketing   970-254-3867 or callieb@gjcity.org