Concern about budget cuts on parks
       I am a freshman at Palmer High School. One of the most important issues in Colorado Springs right now is our city's budget cuts. Some of the cuts for Parks and Recreation have included the removal of trash cans from parks, mowing less often and reduced watering. Although there was a decision recently to decrease the water cuts, the city is still gambling mostly on “Mother Nature” to keep our parks green, and there is no money for beautifying our city with flowers. The majority of our city's swimming pools have closed, including Prospect Lake, which serves some of our city's lowest-income neighborhoods, and those pools that are staying open, due to private enterprise that has a partnership with the city, will have higher prices. While volunteers and private organizations have stepped forward to keep Rock Ledge Ranch and the Pioneers Museum open for now, no one knows yet what is going to happen in 2011. We do know the outlook is not good.
       I have grown up in Colorado Springs, played in the parks and learned to swim in local pools. These eliminations from our budget will mean fewer places for my friends and me to spend summer days. Not only that, but because young people will be spending more time on the streets, they will be more likely to get into trouble. When our city government fails to provide for the people of our city, it is up to us as citizens to try to find solutions. Volunteerism, in time and funds, is needed now more than ever. We young people can commit to getting out into our community and seeing what we can do to clean up and beautify our parks. Even planting a few flowers and cleaning up trash on the streets we live on can make a big difference. Citizens need to act now if we are going to keep Colorado Springs a beautiful place to live.

Lily Knauf