Thursday, September 27, 2007
Dedication of Gloria Gossard Park
Gloria Gossard Park dedication ceremony on Sept. 26, 2007.
Steamboat Springs Longtime Steamboat Springs resident Gloria Gossard recalled horseback rides and impressing family friends with the views from Emerald Mountain, as about 40 community members came together on the mountain in Gossard's honor Wednesday.
"It's just a lot of things," Gossard said of what the Emerald site means to her. "It was sort of a family memento. A lot of family friends, when you brought them up here, they were just fascinated."
In an afternoon ceremony under clear blue skies, the Tread of Pioneers Museum dedicated the 120-acre parcel of land that Gossard donated to the city in 1999, and that was named for her in 2005. Gloria Gossard Park is part of more than 4,000 acres of public land just south of Howelsen Hill.
Kay Clagett, president and a founder of Strings in the Mountains, said Gossard has been one of her right hands in the organization, is a "real Steamboat girl" and a valuable asset to the community, cultural and otherwise.
"She's done it quietly, to keep Emerald Mountain preserved and beautiful, and this is the time we all come together to honor everything she's done," Clagett said.
Former City Council President Kevin Bennett, who led the dedication, said the donation is a sign that the best thing to do to ensure the future is to preserve the past.
"I know a lot of us in this group are concerned about what's going on," Bennett said in his dedication speech. "But not today, not this day. : There is no greater gift, there is nothing more important" than the preservation of public land.
Even those who don't use Emerald Mountain Park for its hiking and mountain biking trails will benefit from the donation, Bennett said, because about two-thirds of the homes in town have the newly named park in their view corridors.
The donated land is on the east side of the mountain, and includes a stone quarry Gossard said her father had thought of as "so beautiful and so interesting."
Councilman Towny Anderson said when all the pieces of Emerald Mountain Park are put together, they make one of the more extensive community parks of its kind.
"What do you compare it to? How many communities in the country have something like this within walking distance?" Anderson said. "It's just a beautiful gift."