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The Bluff Project
  
Contact: Ben Lenth
Phone: (719) 783-3018
Email: Email
  

View of the Sangres and the valley below The Bluff - taken from the Hall property.
The Bluff is one of the most beautiful locations to walk in North America. With 10.2 acres at the west end of Main Street in Westcliffe, a steady stream of visitors use the property: walkers, bikers, photographers, dark skies enthusiasts, musical event attendees and people just wanting to contemplate. If you hike to the western edge of the grass on The Bluff, you look down onto Grape Creek which drains a valley lush with irrigated hay. Much of the valley is protected by zoning policy and preserved forever by conservation easements. You look across the valley into the dramatic Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
 
The owners of the central part of The Bluff wanted to preserve it as a public park with open views across the valley forever. They began holding public hearings and land use studies in 2010, and in 2012 assembled a group of community members to purchase some adjacent land (the Hall Property), to enhance the current area and make it an educational and inspirational place for all. By mid-2013, half a million dollars had been raised to purchase the land and expand and enhance the existing park. More sod and wheelchair accessible trails have been added, along with electrical access and picnic areas. The Town of Westcliffe maintains the park as well as owning the northern 3.6 acre parcel and the southern 1.3 acre parcel (Hall Property). A block away from the commercial heart of downtown Westcliffe, The Bluff is the west-end anchor for the new plan of economic development spearheaded by community volunteers, (called “Cliffs Action Revitalization Team” or CART) which includes The Chamber of Commerce, Westcliffe and Silver Cliff Town officials.
 
Although enough funding was raised to accomplish all the above tasks, there is still more work to be done. It is the intention of the Steering Committee and collaborators to let the park ‘sit’ for six months or so, since the landscape installation was just completed in July, 2013. We plan to preserve the open space aspect of the park by turning the two central parcels over to the San Isabel Land Protection Trust. The group looks forward to seeing what the community wants of the property: perhaps an educational pavilion on the north end, or an platform to host musical events. Should you wish to talk with one of the Bluff Steering Committee members, you can click on our email link on this site, or call us at 719-783-3018 and ask for Ben Lenth. We welcome your curiosity and your comments. But if you are just passing through town for a few moments, go walk around on the end of Main Street. You’ll understand why we wanted to preserve and enhance this unique site.
 
2012 view of the High Mountain Bluegrass Festival - now much enhanced and enlarged
 
 
Friday, September 19, 2014