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'Re-Imagine Waldo Canyon' project continues with final public meeting

Waldo Canyon Fire
Waldo Canyon
Posted at 8:23 AM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 13:19:54-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Eight years ago, a fire ravaged a piece of land known for its wide open spaces and breathtaking views.

Now it's up to the public to decide what will become of Waldo Canyon and the 18,000 acres that were destroyed.

Jennifer Peterson, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, said they want the community to come up with a broader vision beyond rebuilding what they lost in the fire.

"We are creating a community vision that will be used by our land management agencies that will set the path for implementation," Peterson said.

So far this projected has garnered a lot of community response. Peterson said they recently conducted a survey on the project and over 1,000 people responded.

She also said hundreds of people attended the past two public meetings they have had.

Even though the fire happened nearly a decade ago, it's devastation is still being felt.

Two people were killed, over 300 homes were destroyed and the trail through Waldo Canyon has been closed off to the public. The Canyon has also had its fair share of flooding concerns.

"It's one of the few places situated right within town that once you get there, it makes you feel like you are in the remote wilderness," Peterson explained.

The last public meeting is taking place at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday night at the West Side Community Center Gym off Bijou Street.

On Thursday, RMFI will unveil a draft community vision, and then present that to the agencies involved in the rebuilding process.