A Boulder view, part two

Boulder snowshoe view

In Colorado terms, I’m definitely no native. But it didn’t take me long to figure out Boulder is one of those places people love to hate. And maybe hate is a strong word. It might be more of a semi-good natured tease. I’m really not sure yet.

Of course I’ve heard the reference of Boulder being a community “nestled between the mountains and reality.” And Boulder always seems to be topping some list as being the most livable city, the most liberal city, having residents with the lowest average resting heart rates, owning the most bicycles, hugging the most trees per capita, consuming the most tofu and tempeh or something along those lines.

And Boulder is definitely a green community: free recycling programs, solar powered downtown wi-fi, ridiculously nice bike and pedestrian paths throughout the city. And the blue line.

Blue line? Just learned this one and I love it. Turns out someone wanted to build an amusement park on top of Flagstaff mountain in 1910 and the town refused. Again in the late 1950s proposals were made to develop the mountain. So the community voted against any water access for commercial, industrial, or residential use above a certain elevation contour… the blue line. It’s hard to develop without water. Today almost two-thirds of Boulder Valley is protected open space. Nearly unspoiled mountain views greet me every morning.

I feel fortunate to live here for now, but I sure can’t take credit for most of the green. I recycle and walk downtown instead of driving; I plan on riding my bike more when the weather warms up. But green decisions were made by people long before I lived here. Long before the majority of current Boulder residents were even born. The median age in Boulder is 29. And yes, I realize there are 20,000 college students here at any given time. But two-thirds of the city’s 102,000 residents are less than 45 years old.

That is a young population. And young has its charm as well as its challenges. But I’ll try to embrace the love and the hate… and try not to dish out too much of the semi-good natured teasing in the meantime.


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