Owner: Aspen Institute
Location: Aspen, CO
The meadows that gave rise to the Aspen Meadows Resort are here to stay. The Aspen Institute’s iconic central meadow, Amy’s Meadow, which lies on the edge of Aspen’s West End between the Aspen Meadows Resort and the Aspen Music Tent, was recently conserved in perpetuity through a conservation easement donated to Aspen Valley Land Trust.
Amy’s Meadow is named for the Institute’s former executive vice president of development and operations, Amy Margerum Berg, who recently retired from the Institute after 16 years of leadership. Amy was the inspiration behind the Institute’s decision to conserve the land, which has provided a focal point and heartbeat for the Institute since its inception under Walter Paepcke over 60 years ago.
“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, Institute President and CEO. “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.”
Amy’s Meadow has long been an anchor in the community. In the 1890s, a horse racing track was developed on the property. 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.
Since the race track days, the property has returned to its native roots, literally, and is now dotted in sagebrush and wildflowers, winding paths and big views of the surrounding mountains. With a conservation easement in place, the community is assured that the land will forever remain open.
The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas. Aspen Valley Land Trust works to permanently preserve open lands for agriculture, wildlife habitat, scenic enjoyment and recreation in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys. The Conservation Fund, a national land conservation organization with offices in Boulder, initiated and facilitated the transaction. This three-way partnership now ensures that Amy’s Meadow will be kept free from future development, and will protect an important natural area and classic viewshed enjoyed by so many.
Sydney Shafroth Macy, Colorado Director for The Conservation Fund said “Having helped protect several iconic properties in Aspen, I am honored to have worked to preserve Amy’s Meadow, and to ensure it will be available for future generations to enjoy.”
Says AVLT executive director Suzanne Stephens, “This is a great partnership and an honor for AVLT. 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.”