Mirror Staff Report
MONTROSE—(June 18, 2013) A healthful infusion of GOCO funding this summer ought to keep Montrose’s growing reputation as a recreation destination in tip top shape. In recent weeks, officials have announced awards of $100,000 in grant funding for Phase I of Northside Elementary’s Play Yard Project, as well as $259,384 in lottery proceeds for the Montrose Water Sports Park, River Trail and Field Renovation Project, a collaborative effort of the Montrose Recreation District (MRD), the City of Montrose and Montrose County.
The Northside Navigators Play Yard, one of 14 selected for funding statewide, was planned and designed through a student-driven task force that worked with graduate students from the University of Colorado at Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning. The City of Montrose applied for funding on behalf of Montrose County School District Re-1J. According to a news release issued by Re-1J Communications and Special Projects Coordinator Mindy Baumgardner, Phase I will include a play pit, swings, natural climbing structures, expanded hard surface games, basketball courts, an 1/8 mile jogging path, as well as two entrances, signage, concrete sidewalks and resurfacing for two of the school’s three play areas.
“We are excited about the project and what it will bring to the students and families of Northside Elementary School,” Baumgardner said. “This project is a great example of the City of Montrose and the Montrose and Olathe School district working together to improve our community.”
The Montrose Water Sports Park, River Trail and Field Renovation Project was one of just eight such projects funded statewide, according to a news release issued by Montrose Recreation District and the City of Montrose last week.
“We would have absolutely not received this funding if all three GOCO-eligible agencies in Montrose did not come together like they did,” MRD Executive Director Ken Sherbenou said. “We are very grateful for the partnerships that made this effort successful.”
This project will improve the community’s parks and recreation infrastructure, he said.
Montrose Mayor Judy Ann Files expressed enthusiasm for the grant, and gave credit to those who first began the Uncompahgre Riverway Master Plan several years ago, under the guidance of former Montrose City Park Planner and Project Manager Dennis Erickson. Montrose citizens chose a whitewater park and river trails as their highest priority projects during the Uncompahgre Riverway Master Plan process, the news release stated.
“The City of Montrose is excited about being able to further implement concepts from the Uncompahgre Riverway Master Plan,” Files said. “The water sports park has been a dream of city staff and community members for several years. We are very appreciative of the GOCO board approving our request for funding.”
Among the project’s components will be the Montrose Water Sports Park, a whitewater park on the Uncompahgre River through Baldridge Park that will support kayaking, tubing, swimming and spectating. Also included will be nearly 2,000 feet of concrete trail, with 1,900 feet of soft-surface trail and signage installed along the river. Other project components include a sensory playground, fitness stations, picnic tables and ball field upgrades at the Ute/McNeil Fields, enhancing safety and offering new amenities for park users.
In addition to a significant cash match provided by all three Montrose GOCO-eligible entities, key project partners include the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Montrose Recreation Foundation, LiveWell Montrose-Olathe, Friends of the River Uncompahgre, Welcome Home Montrose and the Montrose Community Foundation.
GOCO is the result of a citizens’ initiative passed by the voters in 1992. As the recipient of approximately half of Colorado Lottery proceeds―$57 million in Fiscal Year 2012―GOCO awards grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. Since 1994, nearly 3,500 projects in all 64 counties have received GOCO funding―Montrose County projects have received $2.7 million in GOCO grants.