Las Colonias Park should not languish

It would be foolish to say the city of Grand Junction should rush to spend large amounts of money to improve that 100-acres of open space known as Las Colonias Park.

The city simply doesn’t have the funds available for the would-be park by the Colorado River in south downtown.

But the concerns raised by a trio of local men about the fate of the park should be a timely reminder that Las Colonias Park has languished for 13 years, since the state donated the one-time site of a uranium mill tailings pile to the city. It shouldn’t go another decade or more before significant improvements are made.

That’s not to say the city has done nothing with the land. It extended the Colorado Riverfront Trail east across the property when the pedestrian bridge across the Colorado River to Orchard Mesa Middle School was completed. It added to and improved parts of that trail when Riverside Parkway was built.

However, Bennett Boeschenstein, Harry Griff and Bill Haggerty are correct when they say Las Colonias could be the central feature in the city’s redevelopment of its riverfront, an attraction to draw more people to the river.

The three say they hope to find private funding for the possible construction of a public amphitheater on the Las Colonias land, one of the features suggested in a 2006 plan for the park.

We’re not convinced that the civic center proposed in the 2006 plan is needed in the immediate future. But the city should seek Great Outdoors Colorado money and other grants to improve the property and make it inviting to visitors and residents alike.


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