$ucce$$ for Red Rock pavilion

       In helping fundraise $50,000 for the open-air pavilion at Red Rock Canyon Open Space during the past year, Karlee Thompson talked to lots of people. One that the Friends of Red Rock Canyon president remembers vividly was the person who handed her just one dollar. “There,” she recalls the person saying, “now you need a dollar less.” The rock effect on the back wall of the Bock living room, shown in ‘04 before the house was boarded up, will be 
preserved in the creation of Red Rock Canyon’s new open-air pavilion.
Westside Pioneer file photo
       This month, all those dollars added up. The $50,000, including grants and private donations, matched a Friends board member's $50,000 challenge grant, which together will match about $100,000 that's been allocated from the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) fund managed by Colorado Springs Parks.
       “We're very, very pleased with the great work and progress that the Friends made in their fundraising,” said Chris Lieber, manager of Parks development. “We're looking to pool our funds together to move forward. It will be a great project.”
       The design is nearly complete for the pavilion, which will be open on three sides, with a partial roof for shelter and panels for future interpretive park information. When the design is done, the project will be put out to bids, with a goal of starting construction in late spring and work occurring over the summer, Lieber said.
       In the current issue of the Red Rock Rag, the Friends quarterly publication, the group names the facility the “Bock Pavilion.” The title honors the family that had owned the roughly 800-acre Red Rock property for 80 years before the city purchased it four years ago. The pavilion will be, at least in part, a deconstruction of the house the Bocks had built in the 1960s up against a red rock outcropping.
       Located in the central canyon of the park, a short distance from the picnic area parking lot, the house has been boarded up since 2005. Some citizens had suggested renovating the structure for a kind of park center, but City Parks was leery of the renovation and long-term maintenance costs.
       In harvesting the $50,000 last year, the Friends put up $5,000 themselves, were successful on four of five grant requests and also garnered several private donations of $500 or more. The chief fundraising effort was by the five members of the Friends board, Thompson said.
       In talking to groups or individuals, the board emphasized that the pavilion marks the beginning of the Red Rock Canyon interpretive plan, including the identification of historical, geological and biological trails. “It wasn't just, 'Let's tear down this house,' but that there'd be something better, a meeting point, and a stepping off from what we had,” she said.
       Now that it's over, Thompson is grateful that people listened to the plan and stepped forward.
       “What a wonderful community it is that they had enough faith in the project to believe we would raise the $50,000,” Thompson said, “especially those that donated the bigger amount to make it possible.”
       And, of course, she remembers the $1 donation. “It all adds up in the big picture,” she said.

Westside Pioneer article