COLORADO SPRIONGS — There is a new manager at the Garden of the Gods Park.
For Anna Cordova, it is a new job at a well-known place.
“It's definitely a learning curve and new challenges and new experiences,” said Cordova, “But I'm also very familiar with the park. I've worked in the park on every capital project and doing tribal consultation with our Native American representatives.”
Cordova grew up in Colorado Springs.
She has always enjoyed the beauty of Garden of the Gods
She also feels a connection through her Native American heritage.
“I really like to emphasize it is not just that Native Americans were here, but Native Americans are here and will be in the future. And we actively consult with them on all kinds of projects and on Cultural Preservation and Historic Preservation.”
Cordova previously worked as an archaeologist for the city.
Along with her appreciation for people and cultures who have gravitated to the park, she also knows it is the park's natural history attracting visitors at an increasing rate each year.
“Our numbers are trending a little bit more and more each year,” said Cordova, “We know, we'll probably have at least four and a half million people this year that visit the park, which is more than a lot of your National Parks.”
Visitors and their activities put a lot of pressure on the park.
Traffic and parking are ongoing issues.
Visitors going off-trail and climbing without permits also happen too often.
Shuttles and rangers have been added in recent years and Cordova sees those things expanding.
She will be looking for more solutions and turning to staff and the community for ideas.
“Striking that balance between, you know, people coming to enjoy it which we certainly want, but also making sure that we're preserving the resources without the resources, there are no activities.”
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