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Sold Out Crowd for Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs Speaker Series


Nearly 150 community members, business owners, and advocates packed The Warehouse, Downtown Colorado Springs, on Wednesday October 11th to hear the latest update on Pikes Peak Waterways and the COS Creek Plan. Jan Martin with Pikes Peak Waterways, Bill Wenk with Wenk & Associates, and Chris Lieber with NES, Inc. were the keynote speakers for the quarterly Downtown Partnership City Center Speaker Series.

Jan Martin gave background information on how and why Pikes Peak Waterways (PPW) was formed. The intent behind the formation of PPW can date back to General Palmer’s original vision of Colorado Springs in the late 1800’s. General Palmer knew the creeks needed to be protected, valued, and utilized by the residents of Colorado Springs for enjoyment. Fast forward nearly 150 years, floods, urban development and many planning efforts, and we can clearly say as a community, “It’s time.” As Ms. Martin stated, it is time to take action and value and restore our waterways. PPW was formed to create and implement the COS Creek Plan.

Bill Wenk is no stranger to waterway development with over 45 years’ experience revitalizing waterways nationally and close to home along the South Platte River in Denver. Mr. Wenk shared countless examples of revolutionized cities that took back their creeks and rivers and created ecologically sustainable and one of a kind community destinations. After illustrating several examples of city transformation, Mr. Wenk concurred that this is all possible in the City of Colorado Springs.

Finally, Chris Lieber dove into more of the details of the COS Creek Plan. Mr. Lieber provided context of how, why and when the plan was created. The vision plan is very strategic and intentional to implement changes that incorporate ecosystem restoration, floodplain protection, placemaking, and community involvement to name a few. Mr. Lieber and the speakers did not shy away from the “elephants in the creek” such as water quality, water volume, urban transient population, and safety and access. There is significant momentum moving forward with the America the Beautiful Park project, and a variety of funding sources are being explored.

Overall, the crowd was enthusiastic and wholeheartedly agreed to Ms. Martin’s call to action, “It’s Time.”

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