Donations Keep Colorado Springs Cultural Sites Open

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The city's Cultural Services Department was one of the areas hardest hit by the budget cuts, they lost about 60-percent of their budget and many historical sites were projected to close. The Pioneers Museum was one of them. Now thanks to the hard work of friends groups and the generosity of concerned citizens they will be able to stay open for at least the rest of the year.

The museum has secured enough funding to keep it's doors open and four other sites have as well. Rock Ledge Ranch, Starsmore Discovery Center, Helen Hunt Falls Visitor and Garden of the Gods Visitor Center will also remain open through 2010.

"Each of the sites has worked really hard with their friend groups in order to stay open through the end of 2010," said Matt Mayberry, Cultural Services Manager. "I think we have raised about $600,000 for all five of the sites just to be open."

Gretchen Dunnam was thrilled when she found out the Pioneers Museum hadn't closed it's doors.

"I called this morning just to make sure they were open," Dunnam said.

She brought her kids, on spring break and her mom to see the exhibits. "It would be a horrible loss to shut this beauty," Dunnam said.

"We've all been very worried, were concerned about people's jobs," Mayberry said.

The city cut the Cultural Services budget by more than half, but agreed to keep some of the sites open for three months so other funding options could be explored. As of this week, those friends groups and other concerned citizens raised enough money.

A sigh of relief for now, but there is still no long term solution, meaning the fate of these sites will likely be in jeopardy again next year.

With no additional money from the city expected in 2011 fundraising has already begun for next year.

A calendar of the Cultural Services for the rest of the year is below.

Cultural Services Calendar 2010

Starsmore Discovery Center

April 3 - June 4
Tuesdays - Fridays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

June 5 - August 30
Wednesdays - Sundays: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (volunteer dependent)

September 1 - TBA
Tuesdays - Fridays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center

May 29 - August 30 and Labor Day weekend
Daily: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site

June 5 - August 14
Wednesdays - Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sundays available for private events

Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
Year round
Tuesdays - Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center

Daily: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Memorial Day - Labor Day
Daily: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.