City park planners hear comments on Las Colonias site
If there’s one thing that Wednesday night’s open house for Las Colonias Park showed, it’s that recreation is serious business. The people of Grand Junction love their parks.
Dozens attended the open house hosted by the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department at Two Rivers Convention Center. The purpose of the meeting was to gather ideas and comments on proposals for the 101-acre area east of the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens between Riverside Parkway and the Colorado River.
Planners will spend the next weeks reading and considering the opinions offered Wednesday night, which included interest in the size and location of the proposed outdoor amphitheater, the accessibility of the planned five-acre dog park, the location of parking and the dimensions of a proposed riparian restoration area and backwater.
“This will be something that we develop in phases,” explained Traci Wieland, recreation supervisor for the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department.
Now, Wieland said, planners will develop a cost estimate for the project and begin mapping out the phases in which it will be developed. The plan, she said, it to present a proposal to the Grand Junction City Council in June and begin writing grant proposals for funding this fall. Depending on how the pieces fall in place, ground could be broken as early as this fall, Wieland said.
The Las Colonias Park project also got a major boost from the Grand Junction Lions Club, which pledged $300,000 over seven years, already contributing $64,000 toward that pledge in January.
The proposed park, which was first envisioned in 1998 when the state of Colorado deeded the land to the city of Grand Junction, will include a disc golf course, picnic shelters, a boat launch, a gravel river walk and an outdoor amphitheater that could seat 10,000.
It would rival Canyon View Park in size, Wieland said, and be a resource for the entire Grand Valley.