parksbook.jpgColorado Springs has a wealth of terrific and unique parks. I’m always amazed when I remember that Garden of the Gods is a city park! (As well as Cheyenne Canon, and Palmer Park, and Ute Valley Park, and Monument Valley Park!) A beautiful book has just been released about these and our other parks, The Parks of Colorado Springs: Building Community, Preserving a Legacy by Nancy Lewis with Debby Odell. Nancy Lewis spent nearly thirty years in the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department, retiring as the director in 1994.

I was so excited about this book that I couldn’t even wait to let my husband give it to me as a perfect Christmas gift. I went right over to the Garden of the Gods Visitors’ Center and bought it for myself. It truly is a great gift for anyone who is interested in local history or in our parks (which are in a precarious position right now, but if you read the book, you’ll learn this isn’t the first time). The book is well worth the $18.95 cover price for the wonderful photos alone. Proceeds go to improve Garden of the Gods.

Monument Valley Park is one of my favorite places to spend time, and it features heavily in the book. I’ve often enjoyed looking at the historical photos of the park that the Pikes Peak Library District has in its amazing digital archive. Many of those are here, but additional photos are included from the archives of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department, as well as a few from Colorado College’s Tutt Library. I was most excited by never-seen-before (at least by me) photos from a private collection, including one of the famous rock garden that once was part of Monument Valley Park. Of course, all of these sources provide terrific photos, both historical and current, of other city parks as well.

The book can be purchased locally at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center as well as the Pioneers Museum gift shop. Of course, it’s available online at Amazon as well.

(Disclosure: A few of my current-era photos of parks are included in the book, but I don’t receive any proceeds from sales.)