Durango Mesa Park Foundation, La Plata County and the City of Durango have each pledged $1.5 million to begin the infrastructure improvements needed before Durango Mesa Park can be open for public access. The funds will be allocated to necessary infrastructure improvements at the intersection of Highway 3 and Ewing Mesa Road. These improvements include: providing the necessary access and egress from the mesa; supporting infrastructure for events to be held on the mesa; access to future additional trail systems; and construction of an emergency access road.
La Plata County officials had set aside funds for improvements and initial amenities for the County property on Durango Mesa Park in 2018. The City of Durango unanimously approved their expenditure from the Open Space Fund at a city council meeting on August 4, 2020. These funds will be used to purchase roughly 250 acres of open space in Horse Gulch, a plan that began over 20 years ago. Durango Mesa Park Foundation will provide matching funds to ensure the infrastructure work can begin as soon as design work is complete.
The 1,850-acre Durango Mesa Park was purchased by long-time Durango resident Marc Katz in 2015, with the intent of giving the land back to the community, as well as conserving hundreds of acres of open space. Katz was compelled by the idea of developing portions of the park into a cultural and recreational landmark with the community’s support, and was inspired by how much it could add to the future of the entire region, both culturally and economically.
“We’ve been working closely with the City of Durango and the La Plata County government for several years to create a shared vision for Durango Mesa Park to proceed upon,” Katz said. “It’s gratifying to see this step get approved and funded, and we look forward to starting the initial infrastructure work in 2021.”