Ute restoration earns landscape honor | AspenTimes.com

Ute restoration earns landscape honor

Aspen Times Staff

Restoration efforts at Aspen's Ute Cemetery have been singled out for recognition with a landscape architecture award. Mark Fox/The Aspen Times

Restoration work at Aspen’s Ute Cemetery has earned a Fort Collins firm a General Design Award of Honor from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The national organization will present its 2005 awards on Oct. 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.The restoration of Aspen’s oldest cemetery began in 2002, the same year it was accepted for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Overgrown vegetation was thinned, damaged headstones were repaired and a walking path was created through the rustic graveyard off Ute Avenue on Aspen’s east side.

The city received a $99,500 grant from the State Historic Fund to help pay for a formal marker at the entrance to the site and repairs to damaged headstones, among other things.The restored cemetery was the focus of a rededication on Memorial Day 2003.

The restoration project, which involved local volunteers, the city parks department and outside consultants/contractors, is detailed on the American Society of Landscape Architects website – http://www.asla.org – as is a history of the cemetery. Numerous photos are posted on the website as well, taken by Ron Sladek, the city’s historical consultant for the restoration.The locale that became the Ute Cemetery was first used for the burial of a prospector in 1880. Many of the mining town’s early working-class residents are buried there and two rows of Civil War veterans’ gravestones line a hillside in the cemetery.