As winter releases its hold on the region and gives way to warmer temperatures and the green leaves of spring, we thought it an appropriate time to visit the topic of Parks and Open Space.

You can hear listen to the full show here, or download by right-clicking this link.

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You can also head to the individual segments for full interviews, photos, and other extras by clicking the links below.

Roundtable: Susan Davies and Nancy Lewis
Interview: Scott Campbell, Palmer Land Trust
Quantifying the Value of Open Space
Manitou Incline: Don’t Climb Every Mountain, Just this One. But Not Yet.
The Early Days of Parks in Colorado Springs, an Interview with Historian Judith Rice Jones
Ode to Section 16

Western Skies is a collaboration between KRCC News and the Big Something.




Roundtable: Susan Davies and Nancy Lewis

Noel Black recently sat down with Susan Davies, Executive Director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, and Nancy Lewis, retired Parks and Rec Director for Colorado Springs, namesake of Nancy Lewis Park, and author of The Parks of Colorado Springs.

The edited conversation begins with Susan Davies explaining the difference between TOSC and TOPS (about 18 minutes). Listen here, or download:

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You can also listen to or download the full conversation here (about 52 minutes):

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Interview: Scott Campbell, Palmer Land Trust

Scott Campbell of the Palmer Land Trust was supposed to participate in the conversation as well, but due to a scheduling conflict was unable to make it. So Noel sat down the next day with Campbell to talk about the organization, beginning with an explanation of what a conservation easement is.

Listen to the edited conversation, or download here (about 6.5 minutes):

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You can also listen to the full conversation, or download it here (about 23 minutes):

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Quantifying the Value of Open Space

Areas like Red Rock Canyon Open Space & Stratton Open Space contribute immeasurably to the quality of life in the Pikes Peak Region. They also play a role in attracting both individuals and businesses to the area. There’s now a growing trend for communities across the country to quantify those values. KRCC’s Michelle Mercer set out to apply some of those tools to see how Colorado Springs measures up.

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Links to the studies mentioned in this report:

The Economic Benefits of Denver’s Park and Recreation System
Measuring the Economic Value of Land Conservation (Cheyenne, WY)




Manitou Incline: Don’t Climb Every Mountain, Just this One. But Not Yet.

The history of the Manitou Incline dates back to the early 1900s. Long gone are the cable cars that carried passengers up 2,000 vertical feet over a mile-long track. The rails are gone too. But remaining are the ties, which create a trail that’s become an incredibly popular outdoor exercise and recreation destination. Yet hiking the Incline remains illegal. Efforts to change that have failed in the past, but are now closer to success than ever before. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin set out to discover the allure of the Incline, and spoke with people helping to make the trek officially allowed.

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Please note: Using the Manitou Incline is still illegal. KRCC does not promote, endorse, or otherwise suggest anyone take a trip up the Incline.

For more information:

Incline Friends.
Manitou Incline Site Development and Management Plan




The Early Days of Parks in Colorado Springs, an Interview with Historian Judith Rice Jones

KRCC’s Craig Richardson sat down with retired University of Colorado at Colorado Springs librarian and local historian Judith Rice Jones to discuss the state of parks in the early days of Colorado Springs. Judith Rice Jones conducted research for The Parks of Colorado Springs: Building Community, Preserving a Legacy.

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Ode to Section 16


(All photos by Eva Syrovy and Noel Black)

The Colorado Springs City Council approved the purchase of Section 16 from the State of Colorado in 2010, which added 640 acres of adjacent open space to Red Rock Canyon and White Acres. Local teacher and writer Eva Syrovy is a regular at Section 16, and wrote this essay upon the announcement.

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You can read the text of the essay here.

 

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