Resident suggests plot be labeled 'Suthers Park'


A portion of the interior of the 8.6 acres adjacent to Bear Creek Regional Park. - PHOTOS COURTESY DANA DUGGAN
  • Photos courtesy Dana Duggan
  • A portion of the interior of the 8.6 acres adjacent to Bear Creek Regional Park.

Occasionally, something lands in our inbox that is worth sharing. This is one of those missives. The email, copied to us, is from Dana Duggan, who vociferously opposed the city's land swap with The Broadmoor, to city Parks Director Karen Palus.

The Broadmoor forfeited some 400 acres of wilderness property and trails to the city in exchange for Strawberry Fields, an open space area adjacent to Broadmoor-owned Seven Falls in North Cheyenne CaƱon, last year.
One piece of property the city obtained through the swap was 8.6 acres just east of El Paso County's Bear Creek Regional Park, which the city says is worth $1.4 million.

Duggan and many other opponents have claimed that the land The Broadmoor gave the city in exchange for Strawberry Fields was nowhere near as valuable. In the following letter, Duggan seems to be rehashing her point in humorous style, congratulating the city on its new, rather moist parcel of land, and suggesting the city should rename it in honor of the mayor:

Hi Karen,

Given the historic significance of the 8.6 acres of new, pristine parkland, fondly referred by many to as the Million Dollar Park, with incredible views of the Drake power plant we purchased for an historic $163,000/acre, or $1.4 million, the public is eager to begin recreating in this pricey parkland. Photos attached for clarity since there is no signage yet. It is the land off 21st street adjacent to Bear Creek.

I am considering a graduation event for about 500 people, and since I can no longer use Strawberry, it seemed like a great opportunity to use this new parkland you acquired for us. So, I am interested in getting a permit for the event. Please advise on the process. A few additional questions came to mind:

1. Where should guests park to access the land?
2. Is a boating permit also required?
3. Will the vacant house be converted into a picnic pavilion for public 
use like the outdoor entertainment center including music planned for Strawberry? Of course, like the Broadmoor neighbors are expected to tolerate loud parties, the Skyway neighbors surely will be expected to endure the same. What is the noise decibel allowed? Do you have meters for rent?

4. Is the City providing galoshes to the public? What is the rental fee for those?

5. I stopped to admire the new parkland and noticed an incredibly pungent stench, like sewer water, which permeated the area. When will Parks have that researched for health hazards and remedied?

6. We are assuming that trails will be built to recreate in the park. When will those be done?

7. Speaking of signage, given the historic nature of this trade, many of us believe Mayor Suthers deserves for this to be recorded into perpetuity by a bronze plaque naming the park: Suthers Park. This is a crown jewel of his legacy which should be memorialized. What is the process to achieve these accolades?

Lastly, and my very favorite issue, were the abandoned refrigerators and pits of broken glass which were discussed for months ever found and removed from Strawberry? We had teams looking for those public health hazards and asked you several times to locate and remove them with no reply. Now that the Broadmoor owns that liability, I would expect they would want to clear that lickety split. As you know, refrigerators can kill small children who crawl into them and become trapped inside. Likewise, pits of broken glass are likely to cut people's feet possibly permanently maiming them and putting them at high risk for serious viral or bacterial infections. Since the public is still accessing the land, you should probably make sure they are aware so they can exercise some of that superior stewardship of nature that the Parks Department claims they were unable to deliver. I see the graffiti code violation, which we learned does not apply to city ownership as reports were filed and ignored, appears to also not apply to the Broadmoor? They own Party Rock now. Isn't it 2 weeks to clean it up before code violations accrue? They were quick to put up signs about gating at Mesa lot due to dumping which has NEVER been an issue there, yet not so bothered by that graffiti which was so offensive during the land exchange process...actions do speak louder than words, don't they?

Looking forward to recreating in Suthers Park!

Warmest regards,

Dana Duggan
Vanderbilt, B.A.

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