EDITORíS DESK: Storm clouds part for Red Rock

       The long-range weather forecast for the Red Rock Canyon Open Space trail workdays last weekend was not optimistic. Rain, cold, even possibly snow. No one was saying the project would be cancelled, but I'm sure the thought crossed organizers' minds. And then, happily, the forecast started changing. By the time the weekend rolled around, the only rain fell on Friday - which had the sanguine effect of softening the soil for hundreds of trail workers over the two warm, blue days that followed.
       The only reason I mention this is because the scenario - dire forecast followed by clear skies - was like a microcosm of the whole Red Rock Canyon Open Space story. When some local folks set out to "save" the property from development about five years ago, no one gave them much chance of success. And yet, as people like Don Ellis, Joe Fabeck and Kent Obee stuck with the effort, holding meetings, researching information, publishing a monthly newsletter, asking hard questions and firing off e-mail after e-mail, the prognosis changed. At last, by 2003, the developer had given up and the City of Colorado Springs was stepping forward with its Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) program to buy the property.
       The parallel is not perfect, of course. The weekend weather was luck; the open-space success took commitment. But hard work was involved in both. May there be many more such "nice days" for Red Rock.

- K.J.