What's in a name?

       In photo at right, Westside businesswoman Corrine Toll raises her hand to signify support for reconsidering "Red Rock Canyon" as the name for the large new city open-space property between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs at the Jan. 8 Colorado Springs Parks Advisory Board meeting.
       Listening is Terry Putman, Parks Department manager of Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS), which bought the property late last year.
       While suggesting the board postpone the decision to let the public come up with a better name, Toll advocated the monicker, "Garden of the Goddesses," arguing that the property has the same kind of sandstone uplifts as the Garden of the Gods and that the name would be more marketable and represent the area's "feminine energy."
        At left, Westside business leader and author Dave Hughes speaks about the history of the name, Red Rock Canyon, pointing out that "as early as 1860" the earliest local settlers called it by that name "because, duh, it was a canyon." He added that, "if the city and the Parks Department want to honor women," there is a currently unmarked cave at the Garden of the Gods, sealed up since the 1930s, where a group of gold-seekers from Kansas (known as the Lawrence Party) stayed for two weeks in 1858 - during which time "bloomer girl" Julia Holmes, the one female member of the group, climbed Pikes Peak.
        Toll and Hughes were among several citizen speakers on the subject during a roughly 45-minute discussion. The Parks Board eventually voted unanimously to name the property Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Chairman Steve Harris explained his vote, saying that the grassroots campaign over the past several years to keep the property from development was known as "Save Red Rock Canyon." "That told me that's how people know it," Harris said. A compromise was proposed by board member Daisy Chun Rhodes: creating a garden on part of the land and calling it "Goddess Garden."
        Although saying afterward Rhodes' idea would be "better than nothing," Toll said she plans to organize more support and appeal the board's naming decision to City Council. "It's not over yet," she said.

Westside Pioneer Photos