Boulder’s public open-space system was launched 50 years ago, and an event at CU-Boulder will bring together experts who will discuss the lay of the land in the next half-century.
The event, called “Our Open Space Lands: Scenarios for the Future,” is scheduled for Thursday, April 28, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the new Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex on the University of Colorado Boulder’s East Campus.
Now, with over 100,000 acres of land and more than 260 miles of trails in our city and county open space systems, we need to think about the next 50 years.”
Speakers include Patty Limerick, history professor and faculty director of the Center of the American West; John Tayer, president and CEO of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce; Sharon Collinge, professor of biology and member of the Environmental Studies Program; and students from the CU Environmental Studies and Environmental Design programs.
The city of Boulder has preserved open land informally for more than 100 years, but preservation became a formal, publicly funded program after a community outcry. In 1964, developers planned to build a luxury hotel on Enchanted Mesa, and the idea prompted an outcry. The Boulder City Council voted to condemn the land and force its sale.
In 1966, the city adopted its open space charter, and the following year, Boulder voters overwhelmingly approved a 0.40 of a cent sales tax to buy, manage and maintain open space. It was reportedly the first time citizens in any U.S. city had voted to tax themselves specifically for open space.
Boulder County later launched its own open-space program. “Now, with over 100,000 acres of land and more than 260 miles of trails in our city and county open space systems, we need to think about the next 50 years,” the event organizers state.
The event is part of the 2015-16 Community Colloquium Series, presented by the Initiative for Sustainable Communities and Landscapes, a collaborative research and public engagement effort among Boulder County Parks and Open Space, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, CU-Boulder’s Program in Environmental Design, CU-Boulder’s Environmental Studies Program and community members.