LONGMONT — Spring is just around the bend, and parks and outdoor playtime are edging to the forefront of many minds.
At the same time, two new parks in Longmont are edging their way closer to becoming a reality, and four others are receiving a little rejuvenation.
After delays caused by groundwater issues and the building of a new roundabout, construction at Rough and Ready Park, at 21st Street and Alpine Drive, has finally begun. Piles of dirt and gravel are being moved around, water from the ditch is being rerouted and a sculpture will be installed in the middle of a new pond.
And the city’s parks department hopes that by the time the next school year rolls around the new spread will be ready for children.
“We’re shooting for late summer,” said Steve Ransweiler, the city of Longmont’s open space assistant project manager. “But no promises.”
Planned with much public involvement and input, the nearly 10-acre Rough and Ready Park will have a labyrinth, playground, open turf area, skate park, off-leash dog area, shelter and picnic area, a pond and a waterway that kids can play in.
Ransweiler said adults who participated in the planning meetings wanted recreation opportunities included for their generation. The city listened and the park was built with a bouldering rock, horseshoe pits and bocce ball and volleyball areas.
“Neighborhood parks are meant to be places of active recreation,” Ransweiler said. “I think every bit of this will be used.”
Paula Fitzgerald, parks and recreation project coordinator, said parks in Longmont are created with a great deal of public participation. Depending on the park size, about 10 public meetings may be held and concept plans are displayed in public places for comment.
“When we start the design of any new park area, we try to get in contact with the public and bring those people in to build a park that suits their lifestyle and avoid potential conflict,” she said. “People help mold the park.”
Stephen Day Park, adjacent to Fall River Elementary School on Deerwood Drive, also reflects the ideas of its neighbors.
The 15-acre park will include many of the typical features, such as a playground and a turf area, but it will also have features that cater to teens, something the community voiced a need for, Ransweiler said.
The most noticeable is a dirt area next to the skate park that features rolling mounds of earth with twists and turns for BMX riders.
Along with the new playgrounds being born, old ones are also being refreshed.
Gene Kraning, the city’s parks and forestry superintendent, said Loomiller Park is getting a deeper, cleaner pond and new picnic shelters.
Lanyon Park has new shelters and restrooms. A basketball area is also in the works.
The city is also looking at replacing two shelters at Kanemoto Park and possibly replacing the restrooms and shelter at Collyer Park, Kraning said.
“It’s a matter of trying to get all these things under way and getting bids out and construction going,” he said.
In the meantime, the Bopp family, whose back yard shares a border with the new Rough and Ready Park, is enjoying the construction process.
“We printed out the park plan and taped it to our back window,” said Eric Bopp.
Christina Simms can be reached at
303-776-2244, or by e-mail