A message from our Parks Advisory Board Chair - Sarah Bryarly
As a citizen of Colorado Springs, it is hard to go a day without appreciating our natural beauty. Whether you are inspired to climb the Incline, commute to work on the Pikes Peak Greenway, watch aspiring athletes practice at Panorama Park, splash in the Watering Hole at Venezia Park, or simply sit on a rock watching hawks soar overhead at Red Rock Canyon; there is always something to do outside. We are “Ultra-users” of these incredible places, each providing something different to each user. All these experiences, and so many more, are made possible by the dedication and hard work of the Parks Department staff and volunteers who give tirelessly time and time again.
The City of Colorado Springs’ Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department provides a vast array of opportunities for all citizens to get outside, too many to list in one short article. If you head to an open space or regional park, you will likely run into a Park Ranger who can tell you all about the flora and fauna, the vast array of wildlife, and where trails lead. Each year, rangers, scientists, and volunteers come together to conduct Bio-Blitz inventories of our natural resources. During these events everything about the open space is recorded, day and night, so there is a complete picture of what treasures we steward. These large undertakings have helped the Department better understand the ecosystems that make up these natural places and how to better respond to their ever-changing needs and how to operate harmoniously with human uses.
Step back in time at Rockledge Ranch or the Pioneer Museum and learn about how our community was established and how our founding fathers fought victoriously to preserve and create the natural spaces we appreciate today. From the construction of Monument Valley Park, the initial planting of our street trees, preservation of the Garden of the Gods and Palmer Park; from the beginning Colorado Springs became an oasis with clean air and water. Since the establishment of our community, many prominent leaders and instrumental volunteers have followed and continued to push for the values that make our city unique and desirable.
If you are looking for ways to become more active, the Sports Office, Community Centers, and Therapeutic Recreation can set you up with athletic teams for adults, youth, various programs and activities for all ages and abilities. Art classes, kayaking, waterskiing, food pantries, after school activities, and summer programs are just a small sampling of activities provided by the Parks Department.
One thing every division and activity has in common at the Parks Department, is the need for volunteers. It is inspiring to see the shear volume of citizens within Colorado Springs participate in various ways to make our city a better place to live. As a volunteer, you can care for a flower bed in the medians, build new trails, coach a team, or be a member on one of the main boards and committees. As the new chair of the Parks Board Advisory Board, I am excited to be a small part of this grand organization. I have been involved with the Parks Department since 2002 and it has always felt like a second home. The employees truly are committed to making the community stronger and a better place to live for the residents. They always go above and beyond to ensure opportunities are available, even when full funding is not available. As members of Parks Board we are committed to working with the staff and citizens to ensure these treasures are preserved for the generations to come. We will continue to advocate for additional funding for the Parks Department, the addition of new open spaces, development of new parks and continued trail connections, and activities for all users so they can get out and experience everything the Parks Department has to offer. We live in a truly amazing City with resources other cities would love to have, but do not have the opportunity. So let us enjoy them and be good stewards of our resources.