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Re: “Castle Rock's example of building great parks with diverse funding

This may be the first time I've disagreed with anything Mr. Falcone has written, but in this case I don't think Colorado Springs should be faulted in this case:
The way that people use parks (and recreate in general) has changed dramatically over time - Garden of the Gods used to have observation platforms drilled into several of the rock formations, there used to be a dance/picnic pavilion just below Cheyenne Canyon, and much of Monument Valley Park goes unused because it was designed for the way people liked to stroll in the 1890's. On the positive side, the city hasn't actually stopped keeping up with some of the recent trends, we have do have BMX/Freestyle/DJ bike parks, Pickleball courts, frisbee golf courses, and modern playgrounds in the most popular parks.
The kind of development currently taking place in Castle Rock is a very modern kind of style based on the way people currently want to use parks (as outdoor fitness centers heavy on the equipment). How much do you want to bet that all the things they're putting in now will still be popular in 30 years when trends have changed again? If anything, Colorado Springs is incredibly fortunate that our current park system is open, simple, and adaptable. We have our many neighborhood parks and some fantastic open spaces which have retained their charm and utility for many decades even if they lack the latest fancy amenities.
If the city is to be faulted for anything, it's that the further south and further east you go, the amount of space set aside as parkland decreases and parks are often isolated instead of being part of a more continuous system - but those are flaws associated with the sprawling development, not specifically the result of a failure to seek out more public-private park development. Yes, we need more parks, and yes, the parks need more funding to preserve what we already have (have you seen the erosion occurring in north Pulpit Rock O.S. caused by inadequate stormwater drainage?), but building fancy new facilities in select public parks isn't going to save the system - in fact it might actually draw off funds that could be used better elsewhere.

Posted by David E on 02/26/2017 at 9:57 AM

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