Life Is Better
Again and again, Colorado cities and towns earn national recognition as “best places to live” and “best places to start a business.” There are many factors behind the popularity of our cities and towns - Colorado’s natural beauty, our educated workforce, and the economic development efforts of our municipalities working with the business community to create jobs. There is another element that is a major factor in the success of our cities and towns: the quality of life features created by municipal governments.
CML takes a look at this factor in our 2017 State of Our Cities & Towns report, which is based on a survey that measured the depth and variety of “livability” amenities provided by municipal governments. Municipal government has become so much more than providing basic services such as public safety and utilities. The public has demanded and supported the delivery of a long list of amenities that have created the quality of life we enjoy in our cities and towns.
You can hike city trails during the day (the Golden trail system comes to mind) and attend a performance at the municipal theater that evening. Take your kids to the zoo (perhaps the historic Pueblo Zoo). Take your animals to the dog park. Turn some dirt at a community garden. Sell your crop at the farmer’s market. Learn and socialize at the Wray Public Library. Watch the For Peetz Sake Day parade on Main Street, ooh and aah at the Fourth of July fireworks, or enjoy any number of community events (Alamosa hosts many throughout the year). Fish at the Lamar ponds. Treat your out of town visitors to our rich history in a historic downtown such as Silverton or a local museum like Limon's. Visit parks and recreation centers to swim laps, romp through the splash pad, sign up for softball, or practice yoga. Smell the sage brush in the wide expanse of municipal open space. Ride through Loveland’s North Lake Park on the Buckhorn Railroad or just stand in awe of the beauty of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
Can there be anywhere else in the world where a city program offers ice climbing at one end of town and a soak in the municipal hot springs pool at the other? That’s life in Ouray.
Municipal facilities, activities, and events create the quality of life that makes our cities and towns the best places to live, work, and raise a family.
I cannot state it better than Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Director Karen Palus did in her interview: “Quality of life issues are important to families when you’re making decisions about which community you want to live in and where you want to raise your children.”
Still wondering why you should plan for quality of life? In less than five minutes, one more video will explain it all. I would like to know your thoughts on this matter.