Colorado Springs to add 343 acres of open space to its outdoor amenities

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Colorado Springs City Council approved by unanimous vote a proposal for the City to acquire 343 acres of open space known as Fishers Canyon. The property, located in the city’s southwest foothills, borders Cheyenne Mountain State Park to the south, the Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhood to the east and the Pike National Forest to the west. The estimated $4.2 million purchase will be funded with revenues from the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) sales tax program with the assistance of acquisition partner The Conservation Fund.

“This property is a valuable conservation and recreational asset for Colorado Springs that will further preserve the western backdrop of our skyline, provide continued protection of wildlife habitat, offer incredible views, and has the potential to connect exciting and long-anticipated trail corridors,” said David Deitemeyer, City of Colorado Springs senior landscape architect in the PRCS department. “We are thrilled to add this unique property to our open space system and are committed to conserve its natural splendor for generations to come.”

The 2014 Park System Master PlanA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property. identified this area as a valuable candidate property for the City’s open space system. It could unlock several significant trail connections, including a key piece of the Chamberlain Trail, which is a long-envisioned 26-mile north-south trail along the western foothills that could connect Blodgett Open Space to Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Once purchased, the Fishers Canyon property will undergo a master planning process with opportunities for public input on future use and development.

TOPS is a 0.1% sales tax, or 1 penny on a $10 purchase, that was first approved by voters in 1997. It is used exclusively to preserve open space, trails and parks. Since its inception, TOPS has preserved more than 7,100 acres of open space. Among the properties preserved by TOPS are popular recreation areas like Red Rock Canyon and Stratton open spaces; unique wildlife respites like Bluestem Prairie Open Space; as well as Corral Bluffs, a historic and paleontological preservation area. In addition to acquiring land for conservation and recreational purposes, TOPS has also helped improve parks, develop trail corridors and maintain acquired open space citywide. For more information on TOPS, visit ColoradoSprings.gov/TOPS.

Council’s vote follows recommendations by the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Advisory Board and TOPS Working Committee earlier this month.

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