The Springs Preserve Needs Help From Every Culturally Minded Person In Las Vegas

Right on the edge of Vintage Vegas is one of the most valuable cultural resources in the entire country. It’s called the Springs Preserve. I’m hoping you’ll all read this letter, and act on this call to action.


I’m personally a RAVING fan. If you’re not, then all you have to do is go there once and you will be.


The following letter made it’s way thru a couple of email lists that I receive. I thought it deserved a wider audience, so I’m re-printing it for you. It’s very well written, and I’d love to take credit for it, but I can’t. I do however share the sentiment. Some things of true value are often quite expensive. Not everything pays for itself, though, ideally, they ought to. Culture, history, conservation and preservation are things that have great value, and require a shared expense, lest they be lost forever.


If you agree, then let’s have some grass roots response to the criticism – by telling the RJ and the powers that be at the water authority what we think of the Springs Preserve.


In the mist of these very difficult economic times, it isn’t unusual for certain people to look around and try to find targets for their frustration.  It seems that the Springs Preserve has been a choice target over the course of the last week.  In four media pieces (LVRJ last Sunday and Thursday, City Life – 6/18, KXNT AM 840 on Monday), the Springs Preserve, the cost to build it, and the cost to operate it, have all come under attack.


To a certain extent, it’s not surprising that such a discourse would be held in a place like Las Vegas, a city that has relatively few cultural institutions of  the scope/scale that are needed to engage significant segments of the local population and reflect the critical role cultural institutions play in communities across the nation.  Without this socio-cultural infrastructure, without a long tradition of public culture in the city, without an appreciation for cultural institutions as social and cultural landmarks of the communities they serve, it is to be expected that some people wouldn’t know what to do with them or what to expect.  It is mindlessly easy to point out that something is wrong if we don’t know what “right” is.


Be that as it may, I am contacting all of you today  to ask for your support.  The Springs Preserve folks will address this matter in their own way.  But I think we can do more.  More than an official reply is needed in this case.  We should all want to show that the Springs Preserve can make a difference.  And that it has already made a difference.  I would ask each one of you, if you have a few minutes, to send a short letter to the editors of the LVRJ to indicate why you support the Springs Preserve.


Ultimately, the issue is not just cost but also value.  Of course, for those who don’t see the value, no cost is acceptable.  But cultural institutions such as the Springs Preserve remain critical to our individual quality of life and to the growth of our communities, even if the value of these services are impossible to measure.   If you could share what value you see in the Springs Preserve, and why you believe that is important for our community in the years to come, that would be a worthwhile investment in the future of our community, and it would encourage everyone that supports and visits the Springs Preserve, and the staff and volunteers of the Springs Preserve, to continue what they are doing.


All of the praise in the recent media coverage of Springs Preserve is well earned. Some of the criticism is just and fair. The comparison to the Monorail that George Knapp makes at CityLife misses the point that the Monorail has no INTRINSIC value to the city in its current form.


Yes, maybe the PR spin is similar, but we already have both projects. If the monorail shut down, no one would miss it. Now that we know what the Springs Preserve adds to Las Vegas, lets talk about how to get more people there, and how to make it one of the things that tourists would regret not having visited while in Las Vegas.


Since I’ll be gone for a few days, it’s a good time for some great commenting on this post. Share with us your letters to the RJ, and your thoughts on the Springs Preserve.