Colorado Springs has finalized the purchase of 64 acres of open space near Blodgett Peak on the city’s northwest side.
The land was purchased with money from the city’s Trails, Open Space and Parks program. Commonly referred to as TOPS, the program sets aside a penny out of every $10 spent in the city to go toward acquiring and maintaining open space.
The city paid $768,500 for the privately owned property. The acquisition increases the size of the 167-acre Blodgett Peak Open Space by 30 percent.
TOPS program manager Britt Haley said the property was high on the TOPS wishlist because it sits squarely in the mountain viewscape to the west of Colorado Springs.
“This piece could’ve been developed for residential uses which really would’ve broken up that kind of expansive, beautiful backdrop,” she explained.
The nonprofit Trust for Public Land helped facilitate the sale. Justin Spring, the group’s Colorado Director of Land Protection, said the property has long been popular among hikers and bikers, who use a network of informal trails in the area -- a practice discouraged by the city.
“I think what’s going to be exciting going forward,” he said, “is when the city is able to complete a planning process with public involvement, they will be able to develop and manage sustainable trails.”
Now that the city officially owns the land, Britt Haley said the parks department will soon begin a master planning process -- including public outreach -- to develop new trails in the area.