COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- Trail-goers and outdoor enthusiasts will soon have more to explore after Colorado Springs City Council unanimously voted to buy 343 acres of open space that will come to be known as Fishers Canyon.
The property is on Colorado Springs' southwest foothills, bordering Cheyenne Mountain State Park, The Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhood and the Pike National Forest. The city plans to pay for the $4.2 million price tag on the property with the Trails, Open Space and Parks sales tax program (TOPS) with assistance from 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 plan identified the area as a valuable candidate for the City's open space system. It could unlock several significant trail connections, including a piece of the Chamberlain Trail, which could eventually connect Blodgett Open Space to Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
Once the bill on the property is paid, Fishers Canyon will undergo a master planning process with opportunities for public input on future use and development.
TOPS is a 0.1% sales tax, taking one cent for every $10 purchase. It was first approved by voters in 1997. TOPS funding is exclusively dedicated to preserve open space, trails and parks. Since it's approval, TOPS has preserved more than 7,100 acres of open space. Some of the properties that have benefited over the years are Red Rock Canyon and Stratton open spaces, Bluestem Prairie Open Space, and Corral Bluffs. In addition to acquiring land for conservation and recreation, TOPS has also helped improve parks, develop trails, and maintain open space citywide.