Vision for Matchett Park
While far from fruition, plan calls for rec center, fields, trails
After rounds of talks and more than 1,000 people submitting input in online surveys, officials with the Grand Junction Park and Recreation Department have chosen the most popular option for a future vision of Matchett Park.
The master plan design includes a lawn with athletic fields in the middle of the 207-acre parcel off Patterson Road near 28 1/4 Road. Other major elements include a community recreation center and adjacent aquatic center, a skateboarding park and bicycle park, various ball courts, walking trails, a disc golf course, a dog park and ponds and walking trails.
Parking areas are dispersed throughout the park and are accessible by a connector road to 29 Road.
School District 51 owns 14 acres at the site and a future elementary school is slated for 10 acres close to Patterson Road. The district is discussing selling four acres of its land to Independence Academy for a future charter school, which is planned directly east of the future District 51 elementary school.
Parks and Recreation Director Rob Schoeber said the plan that surfaced as the most popular contains a combination of amenities.
Still, the design is a vision and not set in stone, he said.
“There are pieces that are a concern and we’ll continue to visit those,” Schoeber said. “A master plan is a guide. It does give you a vision of what you want it to look like in the end.”
The plan is the greatest step toward possible development of the park since the city purchased the land from Ken and Sally Matchett in 1996. But a plan is just that — a plan — and there’s no guarantee of when the park will be developed, let alone how many of the elements identified in the plan will be incorporated.
The city developed two master plans for Las Colonias Park in south downtown in 1998 and 2006 and not a single square of sod has been laid for the park.
Schoeber said the master plan for Matchett Park will be circulated among groups in the community and possibly tweaked a bit.
It is slated for adoption in June by Grand Junction city councilors.
At that point, decisions will have to be made about how to fund the project. The community recreation center, which likely would present the largest price tag, is listed on the map as a placeholder. Councilors have not approved a facility, and funding has not been identified to create it.
In comparison, a phasing plan for Las Colonias Park in south downtown includes 12 steps, Schoeber said.
For Matchett Park, which is double the acreage of Las Colonias and Canyon View Park, residents can expect more than a dozen phases. Initial hurdles include irrigating the land and building infrastructure like roads and access points.
Funding for the park could come through grants, but there may be other options, including asking voters for a tax increase.
“The community will help us decide how it gets funded, if it does,” Schoeber said. “There are tax options and grant options, but we’re really going to have to be creative.”