A significant challenge has been met. This week, Valley Floor Preservation Partners (VFPP) transferred to the Town of Telluride Open Space Fund $24,300,000 for the purpose of purchasing the Valley Floor. Those funds represent contributions from over 1,700 donors who believed in the boldest vision this community has ever embraced: keeping the Valley Floor forever wild!
Individuals, families, businesses, and foundations forged a coalition that moved well beyond the Telluride town limits. A grant from San Miguel County brought the total of funds raised for land acquisition to $24,500,000. Every dollar made a difference. Everyone who gave deserves credit. Making sure that all who got involved know now of our heart felt appreciation becomes the overwhelming task at hand. Hopefully the smiles on our faces will go a long way toward beaming “thank yous” all around. And perhaps the pride each of us feels will blend well in the gratitude mix.
The dynamic VFPP partnership included The Town of Telluride, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Sheep Mountain Alliance, and The Telluride Institute. Together everyone created an energy within this cause that is unmatched. In addition, VFPP staff and volunteers kept the grass roots panache of our endeavor alive and the wheels well oiled. Our success in this effort is the result.
Particular acknowledgments are due Mayor John Pryor, the Town Council and Town Staff.
John became a tireless advocate at a crucial point in our fundraising process. His dedication to representing us and staying connected with donors produced huge results. In the tangle that defined these proceedings, the folks at Town/Rebekah Hall continually provided clarity and direction. The real manifestation of partnership shines before us in our collective accomplishment.
Another resounding cheer belongs to one of our own, Jane Hickcox. She defined the soul and purpose of this movement. Her inspiration, resolve and integrity propelled the entire organization to make this happen. She was the sunlit peak that kept us oriented. We trust that in sharing our deepest gratitude with her, we will partially repay our debt.
In the best case, what we all have done here can serve as a model and motivation for people everywhere struggling in the name of preservation. Many other locations face similar pressures. Many other citizens are aware of how foresight, careful planning and community investment can create better environments. When the time comes may we lend our support to them in the way hundreds of folks from beyond our valley lent their support to us.
Now, we move to a new phase in the process – that of responsible stewardship. Mindful consideration in the management of this property will be required for years to come. Continued community involvement will be needed in various ways. The long-range task has just begun.
From the Steeprock craftsmen who built the Wishing Well to the Valley Cows, from the business owners that banded together to Telluride’s younger citizens who convinced their parents to contribute to our cause, we succeeded because every one of you who believed in this preservation effort played the part you could, and you all played your parts perfectly.
Give each other a huge hug. We did it!