How POPS Came to be, 2B
In 2013 a group of concerned citizens founded the nonprofit advocacy group Save Cheyenne in response to a Broadmoor Hotel proposal to close Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard, a neighborhood thoroughfare that ran between two golf courses belonging to the hotel. A petition, website, Facebook page and activism lead by Save Cheyenne and involving many community members resulted in the defeat of that closure, maintaining access for emergency evacuation and daily ingress/egress for the surrounding neighborhoods.
Three years later in early 2016, Save Cheyenne re-activated itself in response to a proposed land exchange (again involving the Broadmoor hotel) in which a 189-acre portion of historic North Cheyenne Canyon Park popularly known as "Strawberry Fields" would be given to the Broadmoor in exchange for a greater acreage of much less desirable land owned by the hotel. Strawberry Fields had been purchased by a vote of the people in 1885 to be used as a park in perpetuity.Save Cheyenne fought the exchange in the court of public opinion before its approval by the City Council in May of 2016 and later filed a lawsuit to reverse the exchange. Sadly, this legal action ultimately failed several years later in Colorado Court of Appeals.
Despite this setback, Save Cheyenne has since been involved in many citywide issues as we seek to preserve and protect the public parklands and open spaces of the Pikes Region -- and to vigorously oppose any attempts to privatize these special places. The group actively participated in the public debate about a new master plan for North Cheyenne Canyon Park -- pushing back against what many saw as an attempt by the City to over-commercialize the park.
Simultaneously -- and following the loss of the suit against the Broadmoor land exchange, Save Cheyenne has joined forces with other local advocacy groups (the Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters, and the Aiken Audubon Society) to promote a change in the Colorado Springs city charter that would require a vote of the city's electorate to approve any conveyance of city-owned parkland to a private entity. This measure called POPS (Protect Our Parks) is now slated to go on the ballot in November 2020. It is the result of over two years of dedicated work and collaboration with City Council members and staff. If approved by the voters, POPS will put Colorado Springs in line with Colorado State Statute and a majority of the Home Rule cities in Colorado, all of whom have similar charter protection for parks.
Please join with Protect Our Parks-POPS CS, as we fight to protect all of our city parks and open spaces -- and to “Keep Public Lands in Public Hands.”