COLORADO SPRINGS — City of Colorado Springs leaders are working on plans to repurpose two known and visible quarries on the westside of the city. Colorado Springs City Council just gave initial approval for nearly $9 million from TOPS funding to pay for the deal.
The vote approves the acquisition of more than 340 acres of potential open space properties. “An end purpose that is for public recreation and that augments our open space system,” said Colorado Springs, Trails, Open Space & Parks Programs Manager, Britt Haley.
There are multiple parts to the proposal that would turn the Black Canyon Quarry and the Pike View Quarry into public land. Each piece would happen in phases. A process that could take as long as ten years.
Land that serves as a buffer between mining operations at the Pike View Quarry and the Oak Valley neighborhood would become open space for the public to enjoy. The work area of the quarry is not included in the purchase price, but after the required reclamation process that has to be approved by state regulators, there is an agreement to donate it to the city. Planners see the possibility of a mountain bike park.
The Black Canyon Quarry sits between Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, and Forest Service land. "The more we looked at the property, we realized how critical that could be to connectivity and to regional opportunities," said Haley. The Black Canyon area has potential to become a parking area and access point to area like Waldo Canyon and Williams Canyon.
The acquisition requires a second reading and approval by city council. The Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board has to, also approve a proposed amendment to reclamation plans.