WHEAT RIDGE — Jefferson County Open Space is moving ahead with its review of redevelopment plans for the 242-acre Crown Hill Park in Wheat Ridge and Lakewood.
The start of construction work there early this winter triggered widespread protest.
Crown Hill is one of Jeffco's four most popular parks, attracting about 400,000 visitors each year to its 242 acres of grasslands, marshes, lake shoreline and looping trails in the middle of congested suburbs.
County goals for the park, officials say, include both preserving the park's naturalness while "exploring opportunities to connect children and families to nature."
• Removal of fitness stations (with or without replacement);
• Construction of The Commons/Pergola (seasonal shelter near restroom);
• Construction of Nature Places for children;
• Centralizing parking at area on West 26th Avenue between Wadsworth Bouldevard and Kipling Street.
The survey asks to what extent park patrons want to help connect children and families with nature at Crown Hill Park through the construction of "nature play" areas where children can climb and dig. Many current park users have protested the plans, saying building playground features in undisturbed areas of grasses, shrubs and trees despoils nature — not enhances it.
Projects that aren't part of the survery — developments that Jefferson County Parks director Tom Hoby said are "givens:"
• Restoring natural-surface trails with crushed granite for durability;
• Five new benches already installed along trail loop;
• Removal of fitness equipment (much of it in disrepair);
• Addition of two handicapped parking spaces adjacent to restroom;
• Replacement of 30-year-old restroom to provide for year-round use, south-facing (less icy) entrance and greater accessibility for people with disabilities at an estimated cost of about $300,000;
• Replace and relocate the information kiosk (to be near the restroom).
For more information, call Jeffco Open Space at 303-271-5925 , or visit www.co.jefferson.co.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R50.htm.
Electa Draper: 303-954-1276, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/electadraper
Link to Jefferson County site to register for Crown Hill Park survey: