‘The park’ in Avon could get new life | VailDaily.com

‘The park’ in Avon could get new life

Lauren Glendenning
Avon, CO Colorado
CVR Nottingham remodel KA 12-30-08

AVON, Colorado ” Avon locals know Nottingham Park as “the park” ” it’s in the center of town, it’s open and fun, and most importantly, people use it.

“We take full advantage of what we have here in our backyard,” said Charlie Wolf, who runs the town of Avon’s youth programs and takes the program’s children to the park as often as possible.

From those who jog the park’s perimeter trails to those who take their children to the playground to people who have picnics and play Frisbee in the open space, the park welcomes the community and fulfills so many people’s outdoor needs, said Avon Mayor Ron Wolfe.

“We look at the park as a very valuable asset of the town,” he said.

The town and the community want to keep it an asset, he said, which is how the idea for a Nottingham Park Master Plan came about. As the town grows and develops ” something that has happened rapidly in recent years ” and the park has remained unchanged, town officials knew it was time to look at the park’s future, too.

The Town Council approved the master plan in early December. The plan maps out various improvements over the next several years, with all of the planned projects taking as long as 10 years or more to finish, Avon Town Manager Larry Brooks said.

“That’s the good news,” he said. “It shows there was foresight in creating (the plan).”

Priorities are arranged in tiers or phases and include improvements along the lake’s edges that would make the lake more approachable, new restrooms, a new main pavilion, and new pathways and trails.

An uncertain economy means some of these priorities could shift, or get postponed, Brooks said. The project would fall under capital improvements, a budget area where plans have changed over the last six months because of the economy, said Matthew Gennett, planning manager with the town of Avon.

Changes in the immediate future are those that coincide with the construction on Main and Lake Streets ” improvements that connect the park to those areas.

“The way this is created is so the park feels like it’s an integral part of the Main Street experience,” Brooks said.

Main Street construction has been postponed slightly, but is still scheduled for 2009. Things that get a lot of use, like the picnic areas and restrooms, are ahead on the priority list, too, Gennett said.

One thing the town and the community members who participated in the planning process want to keep is the quiet and open nature of the park. The park features a lot of space where people can soak up the sunshine and run around. The overall consensus during the master planning process was that adding a bunch of concrete isn’t something anyone wants, Gennett said.

“I like the open space,” said Colin Doyle, who was at the park with his 4-year-old daughter, Lily, Tuesday.

Doyle used to live in Avon and now lives in Eagle. He still comes to the park with his family because they love the openness they find there and all the activities they can do together. In the summertime they use the paddleboats and fly kites. In the winter they snowshoe or ice-skate.

Wolf wants more building for at least one thing ” the playground. The current playground is older and the children get splinters from the wood, he said. He wants the park’s playground to compare and surpass some of the other playgrounds in the valley. The playground improvements are part of tier one, so they’ll happen as soon as the town can afford it.

As for the rest of the park, Wolf echoes what the town and the community have agreed on from the start ” keep the park passive and open.

“We like the grass and the room to roam,” he said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com

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