Senator Salazar sees Fountain Creek as future ‘crown jewel’

       Colorado Senator Ken Salazar was in Colorado Springs Sept. 22 to spread the word about his conceptual plan for “The Fountain Creek Crown Jewel Project.”
       The plan, which has no funding nor an exactly defined improvement area, could conceivably include upgrades to Fountain Creek through the Westside from Ute Pass, Salazar indicated. However, he chiefly stressed the value of an upgraded creek corridor between Colorado Springs and Pueblo - partly as a way to relieve water- quality tensions between the respective leaders of those communities.
       “I hope that in 10 to 15 years people will look on Fountain Creek as a crown jewel,” Salazar said in a press conference at the Manitou Springs skate park. “This ribbon of water could unify the communities.”
       A report by Salazar's office calls for a cleanup/revitalization of the creek, a linear state park along the corridor, protection of of farms and ranches along the creek and in the Lower Arkansas Valley, and a “greenbelt separator” between Colorado Springs and Pueblo. The report cites support from Colorado State Parks and notes that Colorado Open Lands and the Nature Conservancy “have been in discussions with many key landowners along the corridor.”
       The senator had no estimate of the cost. He said he hoped that area governments would help pay for any work; he also said he will look into possibilities at the federal level. For now, he would like to form a Fountain Creek Crown Jewel Task Force, consisting of Southern Colorado leaders who would use the report as a guide for future planning.

Westside Pioneer article