Rock Ledge Ranch, Garden of the Gods facing budget cuts in 2009 city budget

       The city-owned Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site will have to reduce operations by 10 percent for 2009, according to the budget proposed by the City Manager's Office.
       Ron Wright, president of the ranch's volunteer Living History Association (LHA), said it probably won't be until December before the LHA and City Parks have figured out what this will mean to the public.
       “There is a possibility we may have to look at some of our programs or to close one more day each week during the summer,” Wright said. “Nothing is set in stone yet. A lot of things are being discussed.”
       Andy Morris, ranch manager, was a little less dire in his outlook. “We took a hit, but it's nothing insurmountable,” he said.
       Matt May-berry, director of cultural services for City Parks, said that the impact is a result of required cuts for the department in seasonal staff at Rock Ledge. Similar cuts, if approved eventually by City Council, will also affect the Garden of the Gods through reduced park safety patrol personnel, he said. Operations at the Garden's Visitor Center would not be affected because it is privately owned.
       Rock Ledge, an 1880-style working ranch, currently has 18 programs a year and is open Wednesdays to Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with some special events in the fall and winter.
       The LHA, whose members (dressed in old-style clothes) take tickets, give house tours and help ranch staff in various ways, will have to play an even stronger role in the future, Wright as well as Morris said. The good news, Wright added, is that the city “is not going to close us down.”

Westside Pioneer article