With the recent purchase of 120 acres on Dewey Mountain, the Historic Green Mountain Falls Foundation has protected another property from development.
“Dewey Mountain is one of only five properties owned by the Foundation, all of which have been acquired with the community’s future in mind, ensuring they are maintained and can thus be enjoyed for generations to come,” said Christian Keesee, chairman of the foundation.
The foundation is patterned after the Colonial Historic Williamsburg (Virginia) Foundation, said Keesee, speaking by telephone from Oklahoma City.
“Our mission is to buy and remove buildings, hotels and houses that are eyesores, obtrusive, such as the hotel on Ute Pass Avenue, a terrible eyesore,” Keesee said, referring to the dilapidated set of cabins that was torn down and replaced by open space known as Mountain Road Corner.
The corner park reflects the foundation’s goal of adding open space to the landscape. “Green Mountain Falls has vacant lots and not much green space,” Keesee said.
The 120 acres on Dewey Mountain, which the foundation purchased from Ray Burgess, protects the town’s backscape as well as the trail system.
“By stopping the land from being developed, the foundation ensures that people will not scrape out the mountainside for one house, for instance,” Keesee said. “We want to keep the charm and beauty of the town so we felt like stepping up. The land is held in perpetuity and not for development. Dewey Mountain is held in trust for the citizens of Green Mountain Falls.”
The foundation’s future plans are to hire an arborist and forestry expert to complete an assessment in 2015. “We want to protect the animals as well as the forest,” Keesee said. “I don’t want to tear down trees but if that’s what we have to do to protect the land from fire, we’ll do it.”
Other properties preserved by the foundation include:
●H.B. Wallace Reserve, 95 acres of forest and privately-developed trails. Through a public/private partnership with the community, the Kirkpatrick Trail was built to connect the public and private trail systems.
●Green Box Workshop on Lake Street, formerly the Falls Motel. The property was donated to the foundation when it was determined that a commercial use was not viable due to its location in the floodplain.
●Lakeview Terrace, built in 1929. The foundation purchased the hotel after the property went into foreclosure.