Collaborative Leadership

Many worthy projects fail due to a lack of competent leadership. Leaders have both a vision of what can be along with the knowledge of how to achieve the final goal. As an Eagle County Commissioner and father of three athletic children, Tom brought a unique set of business skills, project management abilities, and creative visioning to the Vail Valley and Eagle County. The Vail Valley was experiencing unprecedented growth of young families necessitating immediate action for the housing, education and recreation for a new community. Families were playing soccer in the local truck stop rest area. New schools were needed including a campus for Colorado Mountain College that had outgrown its Vail condominium. Officials had struggled for years to create housing that the people essential to our communities could afford - teachers, firemen, police, grocery store clerks, etc. Soon after becoming a Commissioner, Tom was able to develop a master plan to resolve these critical issues. Working together with a talented staff, a vibrant community was created which has become the focal point of the Eagle-Vail Valley.

The story of Berry Creek

The story first began in 1983 when a plan was approved to develop 110 acres of land into 198 dwelling units in Edwards, Colorado. The barren land was entitled but no development took place.

Nothing happened until April of 1990 when three governments contracted to buy the property for recreation, open space and affordable housing. The deal was contingent upon voter approval of a mill levy increase to fund the purchase. The voters rejected the increase in November. The property was then purchased by seven governmental entities. Nothing happened again for the next nine years.

In the Spring of 1999 Eagle County stepped forward, became the sole owner and agreed to master plan the property along with an adjoining 113 acres owned by the local school district.

The School district and Eagle County embraced a collaborative planning approach with yet more governmental entities including a recreation district and a local community college. There were 10 governments involved in the decision making process. The result was an approved detailed development plan for the entire 223 acres in just over a year from start.

Here are a few of the community improvements that now exist:

Miller Ranch

Miller Ranch Miller Ranch is Eagle County's largest public-private affordable housing development. The development represents a unique partnership between developer ASW Realty Partners, Eagle County, the Town of Vail, Eagle County School District and Colorado Mountain College. Located on a portion of what is known as Berry Creek in Edwards, Miller Ranch will includes 282 affordable housing units, ranging from loft style condominiums to single family homes. In order to ensure the affordability of the units now and in future re-sales, all of the properties are deed restricted and owners need to meet certain Eagle County purchase qualifications.

Spray Park

Spray parkThe 2,000-square foot water facility is housed at the Freedom Park, where younger kids often watch older siblings participate in sports events. Thanks to the spray park, younger visitors now have a place of their own to play.

Freedom Skate Park / Ball Fields

Freedom Skate Park / Ball Fields
The Freedom Skate Park in Edwards is the result of an innovative partnership consisting of five government agencies and a citizens' group that came together to expand Freedom Park with the help of a GOCO grant. Located alongside an artificial turf field, four soccer fields and two youth baseball/softball fields at Freedom Park, development of the skate park completed a comprehensive plan established for the complex, one of the largest in the country.

Freedom Park Memorial and Lake

Freedom Park Memorial and LakeThe first of its kind in the nation, this memorial honors our fallen armed forces veterans and local emergency services providers that died in the line of duty. A unique feature will be a display of a piece of the Pentagon limestone shell that was damaged in the attack on 9-11-01. The Memorial rests on the edge of a new lake that was created. Besides being a recreational amenity, the lake is a reservoir for water to irrigate the neighboring ball fields and plantings in an environmentally conscious manner.

Colorado Mountain College

Colorado Mountain CollegeDemand has already outgrown this first building of what will be a traditional campus quad for Colorado Mountain College. Strategically located across the street from the new high school, students can receive dual credit (high school and college) when taking classes at CMC. Eagle County and the school district each donated half of the 16 acre parcel. In return, the two entities both receive free classes for their employees for 50 years.