Whose Park is It?

By: Contributor
9 August, 2018

(Editor’s Note: A resolution being pushed by the “Sons of Taos” proposes renaming Taos’s historic “Kit Carson Park” in favor of “Jerry Garcia Forever,” will be voted on at this week’s town council meeting. According to Town Manager Rick Bellis, “this is a new era and we need to acknowledge Jerry’s contribution, which began in Frisco’s Mission District and ended in the Kit Carson Cemetery among our own `Grateful Dead.'” (Friends of Bellis say the manager’s long-haired look-a-like is a tribute to the forever rocker.)

Below a Taos citizen raises questions about the encroachment of the 60s era retrograde concert movement on early 20th Century Manbyism. While conceived of by Arthur Manby, an early Taos land developer and realtor, and named for the 19th Century American agent of Imperial Conquest, Kit Carson, those who wish to walk small dogs and contemplate the transcendent light in the park object to the noise and abuse wrought by “chain-link fences” and ugly bandstands as substitute for the sylvan and spiritual representatives of nature’s gifts.

(The Park appears to be following in the wake of Taos Plaza, a mish-mash tribute to, among others, high electricity rates at, yes, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative.)

From: ann cole <anncole@newmex.com>
Date: August 7, 2018 at 6:57:47 PM MDT

To: Editor <editor@taosnews.com>

Subject: When is a park not park?

So many of us are concerned about the diminution of Kit Carson Park!  Can you take this on?  

The park is disappearing.  The stage, which appears to be more and more permanent, is encroaching on the big lawn more every year.  Chain link fences (which I assume we pay for) are often keeping us out in favor of paid events.

This last weekend with the Meow Wolf happening is a prime example.  The entire park was completely closed — fenced off from the public.

Admission was only granted to those who paid $70-$199 for a ticket. You probably know this  :o)

Is our park is becoming a commercial enterprise?

Anyway, I’ve done a little research to try to answer some of my questions:

-What did the original deed say?

According to an article in the Taos News about changing the name of the park <<ttps://taosnews.com/stories/state-park-deed-does-not-prohibit-name-change,37347>>


“…The deed says the terms are were part of a joint powers agreement approved March 25, 1988. The agreement … notes that the town was required to change the name from Kit Carson Memorial State Park to Kit Carson Memorial Park, and “continue to operate the facility exclusively as a park.”



So, what is a park?

http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/P/Park.aspx says “Park Definition:
An area of land set aside for passive common use, where certain types of activities are restricted, to permit individuals to escape the intensity of urban life.”

(Don’t you love it?)


  “Public authorities, according to <<https://definitions.uslegal.com/p/parks-  and-playgrounds>>, may grant individuals the exclusive privilege of operating a concession on park property when the privilege is consistent with park purposes. The grant of a concession may include the right to operate refreshment and lunch stands, the right to rent boats, horses, and other items, and the right to engage in any other activity that promotes the use of the park consistent with its dedication.”

Lastly, there’s this PUBLIC PARKS RULES & REGULATIONS FOR USE, 2007, from the Town of Taos:

http://www.taosgov.com/recreation/PARK%20USE%20APPLICATION%20-%204-17-2017.pdf  which incidentally says “no overnight stays,” even though camping was allowed this last weekend.  If you bought a ticket.

Haha also: “… Electrical amplified music will be allowed  but must comply with the Town of Taos noise ordinance. Should  the decibel level exceed  the 120  maximum allowed, the user will be advised and directed to lower the volume. Only one warning will be given.”

I’d like to know what you think, what the Taos News thinks, and whether we can do anything about it —



PS This fence has been up all along the front of the park for at least 5 weeks:

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