Final draft of Bear River Park master plan unveiled to the public
Steamboat Springs — The final draft of a new master plan for Bear River Park calls for a wide range of amenities that would appeal to volleyball and basketball players, skaters, cyclists, hikers, rafters and boaters.
Under the plan, the park also would become a new place for residents and visitors to gather for barbecues and take a walks on a nature trail along the Yampa River.
The park would not host an indoor field house that was a popular request from community members who attended planning meetings.
The final draft of the master plan was presented in late May to the Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Commission.
The commission decided it wanted to wait until later in June to consider endorsing the plan, so that the public has more time to digest it and weigh in.
Oxbow Design Collaborative split up the plan into four phases that could be tackled at different times.
The first phase includes such improvements as additional parking, a community space, new basketball and volleyball courts, a pavilion and a multi-use field.
Phase two would include a playground, an expanded bike skills park, and picnic and barbecue areas.
The third phase would expand the skate park and the Yampa River Core Trail, and the final phase would construct a trailored river access point.
By packing community meetings and participating in online surveys, residents showed they were very interested in the future of one of Steamboat’s last parks that remains largely undeveloped.
Parks and Community Services Director John Overstreet told Steamboat Today several different user groups offered many ideas for the park.
“It was really inspiring to see so many people turn out to talk about what their interests are,” Overstreet said after an open house about the park’s future that attracted more than 100 community members.
The city’s Parks and Community Services Department hopes to finalize a single master plan and formulate funding and implementation strategies during the summer.
Due to the park’s location on the Yampa, space for new amenities is limited. A large portion of the park includes wetlands and lies within the floodplain.
Overstreet said about eight acres on the 14-acre park property can be developed.
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