EDITORíS DESK: Parks policy hurts Historical Society

       I'm a big fan of the Colorado Springs Parks Department. For example, look at what a speedy, yet careful job they've done in preparing Red Rock Canyon Open Space for public use. It was also a nice touch that parks planners decided to leave the old stagecoach in Thorndale Park when they replaced all the other equipment this fall.
       Having said that, however, I need to point out an area where I think City Parks is making a rather serious mistake in policy. For quite a few years now, the non-profit Old Colorado City Historical Society has been tirelessly preserving the Westside's legacies. Its members have done this voluntarily, nursing an endowment fund and raising money where they can. They even took on the administration of the grant for Bancroft Cabin last year, because if City Parks had done so, it would have counted as revenue under the TABOR law. Not that Society members are looking for $700,000-a-year funding like Pioneers' Museum; remember, these are proud Westsiders! But when city policy - namely, an inflexible fairness standard in park rentals - stymies the Society's fund-raising, that's not right. You'd think an entity that helps the city achieve its cultural goals would get a break on park fees and insurance (both doubled in the past four years), but no. The group pays the same as a for-profit business. As a result, the Society is considering not having its annual Founders' Day in Bancroft Park next year. That would be sad. City Parks needs to re-examine its park-rental policy.

- K.J.