Committee to tackle new name for Droste property |

Committee to tackle new name for Droste property

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – While Whiskey Ridge seems to hold favor with some Pitkin County Open Space and Trails board members, a name for what’s currently called the Droste open space has yet to be chosen.

A group of open space and conservation officials will meet Wednesday to begin brainstorming on how to pick a name for the scenic ridge, acquired last year by a consortium of local governments, along with funds from Great Outdoors Colorado and private contributions. Ideas from the public will be welcome, according to Dale Will, county Open Space and Trails director.

On Wednesday, a committee consisting of representatives of the Aspen and Pitkin County open space boards, the Snowmass Trails Committee, an elected official from each of the three governments, and a representative of the Aspen Valley Land Trust is expected to map out a process to choose a name, ideally by this fall. The group will convene from 12:30-2 p.m. in the county commissioners’ Plaza One meeting room.

Ideally, the naming committee will solicit proposals from interested parties, according to Will.

With the initial announcement of the county’s intention to spearhead the purchase of the Droste property a little more than a year ago, the property was dubbed Wapiti Ridge Mountain Park, a nod to the Native American word for the elk that use the land. It didn’t resonate with the public, according to Wil. Not everyone is familiar with the word “wapiti,” he said.

“I’m trying stimulate people to start thinking about it,” he said Monday. “We want to find something that will stick with the community.”

The open space purchase, finalized in December, secured 841 acres for $17 million. The highlight of the property is the ridge that separates the Brush Creek and Owl Creek valleys, extending northeast from Snowmass Village.

While there has been discussion about coming up with a name that recognizes a larger assembly of open space parcels – roughly 2,500 acres in all – the ridge, at least, should have some identifying moniker, Will said.

“It really should have a name,” he said. “I’m hoping we can at least name the core of it – the ridgeline.”

Along with the former Droste family property, the ridge includes pieces of Cozy Point South on the Highway 82 end and Seven Star and Hidden Valley on the Snowmass Village side.

The Cozy Point and Hidden Valley properties have names already in common usage, and they aren’t likely to go away even when a name is chosen for the ridge, Will noted in his memo to the committee.

While Pitkin County has no formal guidelines for naming open space, the committee has been provided with Summit County’s policy. It allows the naming of properties for natural or geologic features; geographic characteristics; historic figures, places or events; or in recognition of a significant monetary or land contribution.

The history of the Brush Creek Valley, however, may not provide any inspiration: No potential names for the ridge jumped out of a consultant’s historical study of the area, Will told the Open Space and Trails Board last week.

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