Boy Scout plants signposts for park’s arboretum trail
Lincoln Park visitors soon will be able to identify nearly 70 species of trees as the first stage of the playground’s makeover takes effect.
“It is going to be a showcase playground for our entire community,” said Traci Wieland, recreation superintendent with the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation department.
Between now and the end of next summer, the playground will become more accessible, more educational and safer with the help of a $250,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant.
To achieve this, new equipment will be arriving, the loop road will be removed and replaced with turf, new sidewalks will be installed, and an arboretum trail is being created.
Ryan Gibb, a 17-year-old Grand Junction High School student, assembled a volunteer team to work on the first stage of the project Saturday.
He coordinated a crew of about 30, digging holes for the 40 signposts along the arboretum trail.
Working on his Eagle Scout project, Gibb has been helping parks and recreation staff throughout phe last few months to make this happen.
“It’s really exciting that it’s getting here,” he said in between handling logistical questions from his crew. “The entire community can come and enjoy ... this project.”
Gibb has been involved in the Scouts for as long as he can remember, and this board-approved project may mean he will receive the highest rank of Eagle, a goal that must be completed before age 18.
Being involved has taught him survival skills, how to be prepared, morals and the importance of giving back to the community, he said.
“It’s really defined me as a person,” said Gibb who is following his father’s example.
While out working with his son, D.J. Gibb said, “It’s really rewarding to watch your son learn on his own some of the things I learned at his age.”
The next step for these posts will be signs with a code that can be scanned by a smartphone for a brief video presentation about the tree or a phone number for audio, Parks Supervisor Tom Ziola said.
In November, the Grand Junction City Council will look at the playground design finalists that include a ramping system making it more accessible for children with disabilities. The sidewalks and loop road changes will follow, and in future projects, the tennis courts and parking will be tackled, Ziola said.
Anyone interested in providing feedback about the playground can call Traci Wieland at 254-3866 or sign up for a newsletter at the city’s website.