Glenwood whitewater park ready to open for season
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Spring temperatures are here and the rivers are swelling with runoff. Paddlers are itching to get on the rivers to play.
Just in time for the spring rush, riverbank improvements at the Glenwood Springs whitewater park are nearly complete. The upgrades will make the park more enjoyable for paddlers and spectators alike, according to Glenwood Parks and Recreation Director Tom Barnes.
“The wave is already getting some use, which is really cool to see,” Barnes said.
Work began on the park in fall 2009. Gould Construction completed the project, which cost a reported $430,000, to transform the rocky and rugged riverbanks into more of a park-like setting to accommodate spectators.
While the project included development of a park and several amenities designed to make the viewing experience more comfortable, the improvements were also designed to make the wave in the river more easily accessible for paddlers.
Improvements on the north and south side of the Colorado River include observation bleachers and decks for spectators. Additions also include takeouts on both the north and south sides of the river, to the west of the Midland Avenue Bridge, to provide easier exits for paddlers.
“There are still some odds and ends that need to be completed,” Barnes said.
Barnes asks that spectators and paddlers stay off the north riverbank until the ribbon cutting to ensure that the freshly laid sod can properly set.
“We need people to stay off that for a couple more weeks,” he said.
Parking may continue to be an issue at the park, which currently has approximately 25 parking spaces, including a half-dozen or so on the street near the entrance to the park, and another 20 in the parking area across Devereux Road.
Two other local park projects are also nearing completion. Barnes said that new playground equipment is being installed at Two Rivers Park, and at Oasis Creek Park just off Traver Trail to the north end of town.
“We are wrapping all these projects up at about the same time,” Barnes said.
Both playgrounds and the whitewater park will also have handicap access.
Upgrades at the two playgrounds cost a reported $150,000, Barnes said, however, the projects received about $95,000 in grants to offset the cost to the city.
“We’re pretty happy with the whole thing,” Barnes said.
A ribbon-cutting event for the whitewater park is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, with ribbon cuttings at Two Rivers Park and Oasis Creek Park scheduled for 6 p.m.
All the people involved with the whitewater park project, from start to finish, will be in attendance, Barnes said.