By Christine Funk
Special to The SUN
“A jewel amongst us.”
That’s what a friend said Reservoir Hill was to him and had been to generations of Pagosans.
It would seem, by the talk in town, that an overwhelming majority of people are against a tourist amusement park on Reservoir Hill — almost 90 percent in a recent SUN poll. The supporters against the big plan have been vocal, but obviously not vocal enough.
There is a group of local residents who believe there are alternatives that can create increases in lodger numbers in the community, but believe the indifference to public opinion— and the math for the big plan — are questionable. Members of this group, especially those who use Reservoir Hill, want honest answers about an amusement park plan that threatens to destroy Reservoir Hill with carnival rides and town’s finances, with the possibility of millions in debt.
This group of local citizens, business owners and community leaders have come together to form The Friends of Reservoir Hill. They are working on an alternative plan based on local input and economic reality, a plan that makes sense and is implemented in stages.
Their mission statement reads as follows:
“The Friends of Reservoir Hill is a grass roots non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing our community park for year around use by locals and tourist alike. We want to create amenities that reflect a harmonious natural design that improves and enhances Reservoir Hill while creating a positive economic impact.
“With community support and input, Friends of Reservoir Hill would like to partner with the town and the public in exploring the following ideas:
• Multi-use event center.
• Meadow greenscaping.
• Educational exhibits.
• Observation deck.
• Trails and signage.
“Friends of Reservoir Hill wants to explore alternatives to large mechanical structures that conflict with the natural and peaceful environment of our park.
“By joining Friends of Reservoir Hill, you can become part of a dedicated team of Pagosa Springs area active locals, business owners and community leaders whose goal is to protect our beautiful Reservoir Hill Park from overuse and poor planning.”
To join, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Friends of Reservoir Hill, P.O. Box 5241, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. The group will keep you updated on membership information, website and blog, as well as the date and time of their next public meeting.