Miller Ranch recreation takes shape
Nobody understands the appeal of location, location, location better than 9-year-old Logan Jauernigg. The avid skater should have the county’s largest skate park within walking distance from his Miller Ranch home by the end of this year. He may not be old enough to vote yet, but Jauernigg approves of the county commissioners’ decision to include the park in recreation plans for the Edwards development. “There are going to be a lot of kids living in Miller Ranch and they’ll want to skate,” he said.Right now that 35-acre site consists of ball fields, a hole in the ground and a big pile of dirt. By the end of this month, that hole in the ground will be a three-acre pond. Construction on a skate park and playground should begin soon, with the expectation it will be nearly complete by winter, said Rich Cunningham, the county’s director of facilities management.While most of these structures exist only on paper right now, they have plenty of people excited.
“I think it’s great,” said Marc Thomas, a local youth camp director and soon-to-be Miller Ranch resident. Affordability is one reason he purchased home in Miller Ranch. The promised recreation amenities were another.”It’s an example of a family-oriented community,” he said.A design with family in mindPeter Bergh, the landscape architect who designed the recreation site, used his own experiences as a parent to guide his design. “I think it’s very important that with a sporting field like Freedom Park, that kids who aren’t actively participating have something to do,” he said. “And it’s important for the caregiver, usually the mother, to be able to watch their child playing soccer and still be able to supervise their other children.”
The result is a playground located close to the ball fields and bleachers. “Women like to have their heads on a swivel,” he said.A mound will separate the playground from the skate park, a somewhat recent addition to the recreation facility plan. After receiving input from skaters and skateboarders, young and old, a park with three areas was created, said Steve Russell, director of the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District, which helped come up with the skate park concept. There will be a beginner’s area with little dips called “fishbowls,” a “streetscape” area that will have obstacles like rails and barriers boarders and skaters can ride, and an advanced skaters area that will feature a 10- to 12-foot deep bowl.Christopher Kerr, 8, of Vail, has heard all about the skate park and is eager for it to open. He spends as much time as he can riding his skateboard in Eagle-Vail. “I like all the fun ramps,” Kerr said. “And I like it when my best friends come here.”There’s a real need for more advanced features in a local skate park, Thomas added.
Bergh also wanted to design the skatepark in a way that groups age and ability together.County officials are still considering building a recreation center in that location as well. Several meetings are scheduled in the coming weeks to allow public input for the idea. The county also began requesting proposals from architects to design a child-care center with space for 80 children.”It’s going to be happening place,” Bergh said. “It’s centrally located. It’s a great site in a great location.”Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com or by calling 949-0555 ext. 607.
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