From Darkness To Light

27 Jul 2010

Durango City Council passes resolution supporting application for more open-space funding

Posted by Adam Howell

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The Durango City Council passed a resolution at their last meeting supporting an application to Great Outdoors Colorado for grant funding to help acquire a parcel on Raider Ridge.

Durango’s Parks Open Space and Trails Development Manager Kevin Hall requested the resolution July 20th for helping to acquire a 20-acre ridgeline parcel just above 8th Ave. While Raider Ridge and the meadow on the parcel are popular to bears, wildlife and people alike, the meadow there has drawn crowds for less obvious reasons in the past.

This is the meadow next to Raider Ridge where the social gathering following the 2009 Single Speed World Championships occurred and the petting zoo used to be.

In 2009 it was a social gathering point for hundreds of riders and fans following the conclusion of the Single Speed World Championships.

More distant, though was the guy who had a petting zoo business operating out of a trailer in the meadow, which was popular for its goats. After the City forced him to leave at some point, he let his goats run wild in Horse Gulch and painted his trailer pink as a salutation towards his appreciation of his ousting.

From 2000 to 2002 this blogger saw those black and white goats, on occasion, lingering on the cliffs and ledges near the entrance to the Gulch until they were presumably eaten by mountain lions soon after.

For those entering the Gulch from the Goeglein Gulch Rd. or the power line trail from the north, the parcel in limbo is the gateway to Horse Gulch aside from the main trailhead by the Building Specialties Store.

“It used to be referred to as the Fairfield Parcel,” Hall said. “It is now owned by the Wyndham Corporation. They’ve expressed interest in selling the property. There have not been any negotiations to this point of any significance. However they have indicated a willingness to work with us.”

As for the resolution supporting the application for the grant—it’s not required, Hall said. But the City has found it good practice to request it of the Council. Plus it speaks well for them and the community when a resolution such as this goes before the GOCO grant reviewers, he said.

“So we would like to get our foot in the door with that grant application to help leverage our local funds as best as possible,” Hall said. “We are going to ask for a $500,000 dollar grant. We have been very successful in the last 18 months with Great Outdoors Colorado having received three open-space grants for the Horse Gulch area. And this one would really be carrying the momentum forward.”

“They are very comfortable with Horse Gulch and they like the large-scale landscape preservation efforts going on, so we feel confident about it,”

The parcel outlined in red is highly desired by the City of Durango to be preserved as open space.

said Hall.

City Councilor Christina Thompson praised the effort.

“I want to echo those sentiments, and just say thank you so much for all the hard work that’s gone into that,” Thompson said. “This is, as Mayor Rendon said, the gateway to Horse Gulch. It’s such a pride of our community.”

Mayor Rendon finished the discussion by reminding people of the financial source for our City’s open-space acquisitions.

“Keep buying lottery tickets for the Great Outdoors Colorado,” he said.

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