Open Space, Trails and your community/state
How does your state, county, city view open space, trails and the like? What are your own thoughts?
All of our Colorado lottery proceeds (after winnings and expenses) goes directly into open space, trails and the like. This represents multi millions per year. The legislature tried to change this some years back, but the voters would have none of it, and in an initiative, set even stricter requirements for how the lottery money would be spent.
In addition almost all cities/counties in the area have specific taxes for open space - all voted by the voters upon themselves.
Every time you visit a park, walk on a trail, or paddle a kayak course, thank people who play the games of the Colorado Lottery. The entire state benefits from funds generated by the Lottery. More than $1.6 billion has been returned to the state for parks, recreation, open space, conservation education and wildlife projects since the Lottery started in1983. In 2005 alone, more than $113.7 million went back to the state.
For example, in my own county:
Among other things, we have a working visitable cattle ranch, we just purchased a 1,500 acre mesa, etc. ALso, they have developed a 25,000 acre gorgeous corridor of open space and agricultural conservation easement land along I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs so the two cities will never meet.
Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources seeks to enhance the quality of life for residents by protecting wildlife habitat, natural resources, historic sites, scenic views and Douglas County’s rural heritage while providing a wide range of compatible outdoor recreation and educational opportunities.
The Douglas County Open Space Program was created in 1994 with the passage of a sixth-of-a-cent sales and use tax. Douglas County has purchased land at today’s prices, however much of the program’s revenue stream is committed to bond payments. Future land acquisition will require additional funding sources.
Douglas County seeks to protect open space by accomplishing a variety of conservation objectives including:
Preservation of important wildlife habitat and movement corridors.
Perpetuation of the County’s rural landscape and agricultural heritage.
Creation of community buffers.
Protection of scenic views, historic properties and archaeological resources.
Enhancement of passive recreational opportunities.
To maximize the impact of limited funding and to enhance the effectiveness of the program, the Douglas County Open Space program focuses on acquisition efforts in four priority areas throughout the County including: the Chatfield Basin, High Plateau, Cherry Creek Corridor and south I-25 Conservation Corridor.
and, many of our MUPS utilize open space for their corridors.
And in my own town (Parker) within the county:
We have also had several hundred acres of land in the town of Parker donated as open space, particularly by one long-time and well-known developer.
In a Town-wide survey in 1999, the citizens of Parker stated that the acquisition and preservation of open space is of great importance. In June 1999, the Town Council approved the Town's first open space acquisition. Approximately 72 acres adjacent to the northern Town boundary, known as the Norton property, was purchased through a cooperative partnership between the Town of Parker and Douglas County with sales tax dollars specifically allocated for open space and parks.
In 2001, the Town participated as a partner in the purchase and preservation of the 17-Mile property for open space. This 35-acre property is located in Arapahoe County, directly north of the Norton property.
The Town also purchased the 40-acre Country Meadows open space. This property, which is located along Cherry Creek west of the Country Meadows subdivision and north of Stroh Ranch, was purchased with Town funds plus open space "share-back" dollars from Douglas County.
In 2003, the Town purchased the Trevey property, located just north of the Cottonwood Subdivision, for open space.
The Town of Parker has a Parks and Open Space Master Plan which guides the development of a parks, recreation, and open space system to meet the needs of existing and future Parker residents.
In addition, we have 3 large state parks within the county (Castlewood Canyon Roxborough, and Chatfield, and 146,000 acres of forest service land in the western mountain portions of the county.
So, what is happening in other parts of the country/world? Is your area into protecting open space, trails and the like?