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Big improvements planned for North Pond Park

NICOLE FORMOSA
summit daily news

SILVERTHORNE ” Right now, Silverthorne’s North Pond Park is characterized by a a small gravel parking lot, a medium-sized pond, an old Summit Stage bus shelter and a single portable toilet.

But, by the end of next summer, town officials envision the park will be transformed into a gathering place for neighbors, with a long list of amenities ranging from a 25-seat amphitheater to a picnic pavilion overlooking the water.

Designs have been drawn up for the large-scale remodel project, which has been a priority for the town since it officially acquired the five-acre park in the late 1990s.



“It’s exciting to see (the design) get near completion because we’ve been talking about this for several years,” said recreation and culture director Tammy Jamieson.

The project, which is expected to cost about $700,000, is one of three that will be heavily funded with a $1.67 million Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant awarded to the town late last year.



The town won the money to help it complete the Blue River Experience, which aims to create a mix of parks, trails and open space, centered around the coveted Blue River.

Over the next three years, the town will spend a total of $3 million (including the GOCO money) to makeover the North Pond Park, restore .82 miles of the Blue River through Silverthorne and acquire three pieces of riverfront land and two easements to secure about 15 acres of open space.

The long-term goal is to upgrade Cottonwood Park and construct a 2.3-mile paved path from town hall north to the park, creating a connection with the rest of the county’s recreation path system.

Those two projects were not included in the GOCO grant, but Jamieson said the North Pond Park and the land acquisitions will further the efforts to make the overall goal a reality.

“It’s a huge step in completing the entirety of the Blue River Experience,” Jamieson said.

Currently, the pond serves as an ice skating rink in the wintertime and is usually stocked with rainbow trout during summer, making it an attractive location for local anglers.

Kayakers have also used the pond for a practice area, while other non-motorized boaters often float or drift through the water.

Once the park’s improvements are complete, the town plans to maintain those activities, but wants to expand the list to include broomball, curling and ice fishing in the winter and possibly search and rescue training in the summertime.

“We see this park as being for local enjoyment,” Jamieson said. “It’s going to be more known as a residents’ park, although it’s not excluded from anyone that’s visiting.”

The north pond served as a gravel pit for the L.G. Everist operation until 1975, when it was partially reclaimed to its original state.

In the early 1980s, it was offered to the town as a community benefit from the developers of the Eagles Nest housing development in their annexation agreement with the town.

The town officially acquired the park in the late 1990s.

The plans should be submitted to the town’s planning department sometime next month. After the planning commission and the town council give the design the green light, the project will go out to bid, which is expected to happen early next year.

The town hopes to have the project completed by fall 2006.

Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ,ext. 229, or at nformosa@summitdaily.com


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