Las Colonias Park’s future discussed

Several people interested in seeing the future of Las Colonias Park fulfill the goals identified in its master plan met Monday with some Grand Junction City Council members and city staff.

Harry Griff, a board member of the Downtown Development Authority, told members of the city’s property committee that there is community support for prioritizing construction of an amphitheater on the 100-acre site, which is south of Riverside Parkway near Western Colorado Botanical Gardens.

“I am looking for the city to make a commitment to the park, specifically the amphitheater in the park,” Griff said.

Griff said he decided to bring the issue to the group after hearing that Grand Junction City Council members had suggested donating some acreage there to a startup zoo. Members of the nonprofit Grand Valley Zoological Quest had requested a donation of land at Matchett Park, open space off F Road near 29 Road. City Council members were not keen on that idea and instead suggested land at Las Colonias. Zoo members said they are more interested in obtaining land near Interstate 70, in an attempt to draw in more visitors.

Griff estimated construction of an amphitheater at $3 million to $5 million. Other amenities in the Las Colonias master plan include a 75,000-square-foot civic center, a dog park, water features, open spaces, picnic areas, parking for 800 vehicles and a boat ramp.

Council member Gregg Palmer said he believes establishing new parks should be high on the priority list, but Las Colonias shouldn’t dominate the first spot.

More than four decades ago, the Burkey family donated a 17-acre site on Patterson Road to be developed into a park. It still remains a vacant lot. Transforming it into a park is estimated to cost up to $2.5 million. Palmer said the city should have a dedicated fund for parks.

“I agree with Gregg, we’ve got to do something about Burkey Park and dedicate funds for parks,” Mayor Teresa Coons said.


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