Avon, CO – Nottingham Park will receive $350,000 of the $5.5 million awarded by the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board to update the playground and improve pedestrian and bike access. Nottingham Park is surrounded by thousands of year-round residents and the Town of Avon will match GOCO funding to improve its most heavily-used two acres. The project will replace a 20-year-old playground with both traditional and nature-themed play equipment and will relocate the existing bike path to improve the park’s traffic flow and decrease conflicts between playground users and bicyclists passing through.
The improvements for this grant-funded project focus on the areas that the community input process identified as the highest need for improvement. This process and observations of the area revealed a capacity issue at the playground area. In order to address this issue, it was decided to relocate the playground and bike pathway to a larger area within the park.
“Relocating the bike path will increase the size available for the new playground space, while simultaneously locating the playground closer to the creek play areas,” said John Curutchet, Recreation Director. “Integrating the new playground closer to the creek will enhance the total family experience when at the park.”
New creek play areas with creative play and water manipulation features are proposed, including playful water crossings, a water pump, and a water powered wheel and dam, to allow children to have meaningful learning opportunities creating motion with water. The creek play areas will become riparian learning areas, giving children the opportunity to learn about plants indigenous to Colorado’s waterways.
The Nature Play Obstacle Course will be a new area of the park, providing a play space with decorative boulders in two sizes, play area surfaces, a natural play “tunnel”, nature play obstacle course, nature play log steppers in two sizes. This area was added to the entrance of the park based on community feedback.
A new, larger playground will be constructed and located for safe access with the new bike pathway placement. The playground features were chosen based on the community input process and include ADA compliant play equipment and safety surfacing. The new play equipment will include swings, attached and free standing climbing features, slides, and interactive equipment for children with all physical abilities.
In addition to the construction of a new playground, the project will address the bike path and lighting, landscape and irrigation, an educational riparian loop, creek play areas, additional seating rocks, tables, picnic benches, two new shelters, and re-roofing an existing shelter.
GOCO Grants and Eagle County
GOCO awarded more than $7 million in grants, with $5.5 million awarded to local governments for funding local parks and outdoor recreation (LPOR) planning projects. With over three times the requests than funds available, the process is very competitive. The Eagle River Park project ranked 30th out of the 62 projects in this cycle although only the top 21 large projects were funded.
Jake Houston, GOCO’s Local Government program manager, explained, “This is a strong project and given sufficient funding would likely be recommended for funding. Staff will work with the Town of Eagle to resubmit in a subsequent grant cycle.”
“We are thrilled that GOCO is encouraging us to resubmit,” said Caroline Bradford, project coordinator. “That’s a positive sign for our prospects in the next round.” With construction on the upland portion of the park scheduled for spring 2018, there is still an opportunity for GOCO to leverage the Town of Eagle’s efforts.”
In total, GOCO funding will: