Durango Telegraph - The future of parks and rec: City unveils Durango Community Park
The future of parks and rec: City unveils Durango Community Park

Chapman Hill isn’t the only area where the City of Durango is focusing its recreational dollars.

On Wednesday night, the city unveiled its draft master plan for the new Durango Community Park at Three Springs. The 75-acre park, which will be the largest developed park in the city, will include sports fields, tennis courts, a playground, walking trails, picnic areas, a dog play area and a pond.

“It will serve the greater region,” said Durango Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz, comparing it to Cortez’s 100-acre regional park. “That’s a very good example of what we’re trying to achieve.”

The draft plan came about as the result of a series of public meetings starting last May to solicit ideas on the park’s design. Design Concepts, a landscape architectural firm based out of Denver, has overseen the public input and design process.

The draft plan for the park, which will be located northwest of the new Mercy Regional Medical Center

and abut a future middle school, includes:

• Softball complex with three lighted fields, warm-up areas and small playground

• Lighted tennis complex

• Lighted championship field with synthetic turf

• Four multi-use fields for soccer and field sports

• Creekside waterplay area

• Concession building and plaza

• Dog play area with agility course

• Picnic area and picnic shelter

• “Destination” playground

The plan goes on to detail a vision for a “sustainable and ecologically sensitive” park, with an eye toward water conservation. The physical design of the park will emulate the natural environment of the high desert landscape through the use of rock and native plants. Likewise, architecture within the park will be inspired by the culture and native materials of the region.

The idea for a community park was originally put

forth in the city’s 2001 Parks, Open Space and Trails Plan (or POST). In that plan, a handful of areas were earmarked as possible sites for the park, including Ewing Mesa, Koshak Mesa and Grandview. However, Metz said Three Springs was chosen as when the developers agreed to donate the land.

Metz said that right now, there is $600,000 available in the city budget for the design process and phase 1 construction. “After that, it will be up to City Council to determine additional appropriations,” she said.

Earlier estimates put the total cost for the park at around $16 million, she said.

The master plan will be phased for construction over several years.

Copies of the Community Park Master Plan are available for review at the Parks and Recreation Department administrative offices in the Recreation Center, at the Durango Public Library or online at www.durangogov.org.

– Missy Votel

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