A key meadow at Aspen Meadows is preserved forever | AspenTimes.com

A key meadow at Aspen Meadows is preserved forever

Staff report

One of the namesake meadows at the Aspen Meadows campus is guaranteed to be preserved forever.

Amy's Meadow, located between the Aspen Meadows Resort and the Aspen Music Tent, was conserved recently with a conservation easement donated to Aspen Valley Land Trust. The property is 13.5 acres of open space that is home to more than 20 songbird species, according to the land trust.

The meadow is named for Amy Margerum Berg, who recently retired from the Aspen Institute after 16 years of leadership. She was executive vice president for development and operations. Berg was the inspiration behind the institute's decision to conserve the land, according to the land trust. A donation from her husband, Gilchrist Berg, helped make conservation of the land possible.

"We are so grateful that Gilchrist Berg's generous gift will allow us to preserve this beautiful meadow in its natural state for generations to come," said Walter Isaacson, Aspen Institute president and CEO, in a statement. "It is a pleasure to be able to honor Amy's service to the community and the institute through such a marked period of growth and change by conserving the ground that anchored and held it all."

The land that is now Amy's Meadow has long had historical significance in Aspen. A horseracing track was developed on the property in the 1890s.

"A turn of this original track is still visible along the meadow's northern boundary and is distinctive on aerial images. Over time the property was also used for rodeos, car races, skijoring and as a baseball field and fairgrounds," according to the land trust.

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The property has returned to its original condition and is covered with sagebrush and wildflowers. The conservation easement will keep it free from development.

The Conservation Fund, a national organization with an office in Boulder, initiated and facilitated the transaction.

"This is a great partnership and an honor for (the land trust)," said Suzanne Stephens, the land trust's executive director. "Next year we will be celebrating 50 years of saving the valley's most special places, and the institute has been stewarding Amy's Meadow now for over 60 years. It's only right that this meadow, which means so much to so many, should be protected for all of time."

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