It’s Saturday morning in sunny Colorado Springs: what do you do? Many of us, 71% in fact, choose to spend time outdoors. What would happen, then, if our parks and open spaces were no longer accessible? Palmer Land Trust currently holds conservation easements on 15 public properties, guaranteeing their accessibility and outdoor recreation forever.
Folks on Colorado Springs’ west side have another reason to celebrate, as Bear Creek Regional Park will be conserved with a conservation easement held by Palmer Land Trust. This means that the park is protected forever from the threat of development. PLT’s commitment to maintaining the conservation and open space values of the park lasts in perpetuity. PLT sincerely thanks all the individuals and partner organizations that made this project happen.
The park boasts a high concentration of recreational opportunities, including over 10 miles of multi-purpose, non-motorized trails that wind throughout the property and along Bear Creek. If hiking is not your forte, you can enjoy the picnic pavilions, playing fields, equestrian activities, exercise course, tennis courts, playgrounds, archery range, horseshoe pit, and volleyball and basketball courts. Additionally, the Bear Creek Nature Center serves to connect people to their natural and cultural resources and inspire them to become stewards for our parks and environment by hosting educational events that attract 35,000 people annually.
Two-and-a-half miles of Bear Creek meander through the park, providing important wetland and riparian ecosystems. This natural habitat is home to numerous species of plants and approximate counts of 204 bird, 77 mammal, 17 reptile, and seven amphibian species throughout the year.
Many assume that our parks and open spaces will remain accessible and undeveloped forever, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, many of the public properties that Palmer Land Trust conserves have had serious development threats, including Bear Creek Regional Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, and Ute Valley Gateway Open Space. The only way to save these open spaces for recreational use is with a conservation easement.
Photos by Carole Henson via Wikimedia Commons