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Contest set to name county park

Archuleta County is holding a contest to name its 120-acre open space park located near the airport.

The contest is being held at the suggestion of the county’s Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails (PROST) commitee and comes as the county prepares to build a road to and parking lot at the site this fall.

The park space is intended to be a 120-acre open-space park and will neighbor Renewable Forest Energy’s biomass gasification power plant.

For the contest, interested parties can suggest names online, via letter or in person. The names will be judged by PROST members and the top three options (with entrants kept anonymous) given to county commissioners, who will pick a winner.

The winning name will be announced at the Sept. 18 BoCC meeting.

The person submitting the name chosen for the park will win $100 (contributed personally by the commissioners and County Adminitrator Greg Schulte), as well as a night’s stay at Mountain Landing Guest Quarters (in either a one-bedroom or two-bedroom unit) and a $50 gift certificate to Ski and Bow Rack.

The latter two prizes were donated to the cause during public comment on the item at Tuesday’s BoCC meeting.

“We are totally grateful,” Schulte said of the added prizes in a later interview.

Schulte said the county wanted the contest to be open to everyone, and decided to keep it anonymous in lieu of restricting county employee participation.

Also concerning the park, the board approved rules at Tuesday’s meeting concerning upcoming public use of the site.

The rules were drafted by PROST using rules from the town and other parks as templates.

The approved rules of the park are as follows:

• The park is open from dawn to dusk.

• Pack out any trash packed in.

• Pets must be leashed.

• No overnight camping.

• No hunting.

• No motorized vehicles or travel.

• No open fires, campfires, charcoal or propane grills, or fireworks.

• No firewood harvesting.

• No discharging of firearms.

• No alcohol.

While Schulte joked about the park being a “no fun” park, he noted that rules may change as the park is further developed — such as allowing propane grills when picnic tables and the like are installed.

Commissioner Michael Whiting said that, while the rules might seem Draconian now, they are fitting for the park in its current state and could be changed later.

Audience member Dennis Spence questioned the number of restrictions on the property, stating that he wasn’t sure he would drive to the site to simply park and sit.

Schulte said PROST members had thought of several appropriate uses for the park, including hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and noted that the parking lot would accommodate horse trailers.

Schulte added that he believes the park, which is heavily wooded — in conjunction with the county-owned 95 acres located adjacent to U.S. 84 (tentatively planned to be more intensly developed) — would provide a broad spectrum of options for county park users.

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