Trails and Open Space Coalition

Noel Black

On this weekend’s special episode of Wish We Were Here, we take a close look at all sides of the proposed Broadmoor land swap deal and the way that open space defines Colorado Springs as a city.

At the heart of deal lies a 189 acre undeveloped piece of parkland at the southwestern corner of the city called Strawberry Fields. It’s been the subject of more than a dozen public meetings, myriad news stories, a widely circulated petition, and a fierce debate on social media.

UPDATE: Colorado Springs City Council has voted 6-3 to approve the land swap with the Broadmoor. Stay tuned to KRCC in the coming days for more. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

In January, the Colorado Springs Parks Department unveiled a plan to trade city land to the Broadmoor in exchange for several pieces of property owned by the hotel. Heralded by proponents as an opportunity to expand upon and enhance the city's park system, the plan has garnered criticism from residents who want the most significant parcel, known as Strawberry Hill, to remain in the public's hands.

On any summer weekend, a visit to one of the Pikes Peak region's many open spaces proves just how popular and valuable Colorado Springs' natural recourses are. In last week's episode of The Big Something, Susan Davies, Executive Director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, and "Hiking" Bob Falcone, President of the Friends of Cheyenne Canyon sat down with Noel Black to discuss trail work, future projects, and what makes Colorado Springs' access to the outdoors so special. 

High Water Levels Prompt State Park Restrictions

Jun 18, 2015

Record-breaking rains leading to high water levels have prompted Colorado Parks and Wildlife to restrict access in some recreational areas. 

Boat ramps, shoreline access points and parking areas are limited at Lake Pueblo State Park. The department isn’t sure when they’ll reopen.

Near Lake George, the South Platte River is running usually high, resulting in the closure of Spinney Mountain State Park’s river access lot. The department is discouraging fishing along many areas of the river.

Voters in El Paso County are deciding whether or not to allow the county to keep excess revenue for the purpose of supporting parks and open space.

The Taxpayers Bill or Rights, or TABOR, stipulates any excess revenue should be returned to residents, unless voters approve a measure allowing the county to put it to other use.

Ballot issue 1A seeks to retain more than $2 million for specific projects including resurfacing tennis courts at Bear Creek Park, constructing a park in the Falcon area, and restoring trails in the Black Forest Regional Park. 

Colorado Springs

It’s only for two weekends before closing for the season, but the South Slope Recreation Area on Pikes Peak is now open to the public.  The watershed is home to bighorn sheep, cutthroat trout, and several reservoirs built more than a century ago.  It’s been closed to the public since 1913.
 

Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte says the ecological character of the place meant they had to tread lightly when considering opening the area to the public.