Save the cemetery

I am a resident of 2611 N. College Dr.  Our back yard is on the border of the historic Animas City Cemetery. It is located on the bench top area on the steep hillside that goes down toward Florida Road. It currently has an informal trail system that weaves through the sage, around the cemetery and connects with the Chapman trail system. It’s an area used by hikers, and there is a small mountain bike jumps area.

If you are not aware, the property behind our house that is adjacent to the cemetery is now under contract for sale to a Texas-based developer.  On March 15, the prospective developer held a public meeting to unveil plans for the land surrounding the cemetery.

The plans show a desire to construct a paved road that comes up the hill from Florida Road and winds around the top of the bench next to the cemetery, with a 5-foot distance from pavement to historic gravestones. The plan indicates there is no buffer zone between the road and the cemetery. It also shows no pedestrian access/public trail to get to the cemetery from the Chapman Hill area or from Florida Road area, effectively isolating the cemetery from public access.

I am writing in hopes that we can work together in opposing this ill-conceived development plan. And also to create awareness of this local landmark treasure. If you are interested in talking more about this, please contact me at or you can call any time, 970-764-7307.

If you haven’t already, please take a minute to check out the well-researched and surprisingly engaging website  The website was curated by the local group “Friends of the Animas City Cemetery,” which also has a Facebook page.

I also have a screen shot of the proposed development drawing.  Let me know if you're interested.

– Matthew Hladik, Durango