Work begins on new playground in downtown Steamboat Springs next week
After supply chain issues delayed the project, work at the new playground at Little Toots Park in downtown Steamboat Springs will soon be underway, according to the city.
The park design and colors were selected through a public survey that concluded last fall. However, construction could not start until the proper supplies were acquired.
With all in stock, work is expected to begin this month and conclude in late September, given there are no major weather delays. The contractor will also make trail and landscape improvements in the park.
According to a news release from the city, demolition is expected to begin on Monday, Aug. 8. Construction will close the playground, but the surrounding area will remain open.
“With the SBT GRVL race and the number of users we have along the (Yampa River) Core Trail there, we want to keep that river side or third of the park open,” said Parks and Recreation Project Manager Matt Barnard.
The new playground will boast features that appeal to a variety of ages, which Barnard considers the key to a good facility.
“We want to make it accessible to everybody, and this park does that,” he said. “Also, we want to hit a wider age range. I think a lot of our other parks (have) a piece of equipment for 2- to 5-year-olds, and it eliminates that 6- to 12-year-old area. … This park, we have enough space we’re doing two pieces of playground equipment.”
Half of the park will be geared toward the younger 5-and-under demographic, while the other half will be for slightly older children. The two halves will be slightly separated to allow each age group space to play without getting in each other’s way.
“Sometimes the older kids get a little more rambunctious. If they’re playing tag on the equipment, it doesn’t scare the younger kids away,” Barnard said of the design.
The landscape improvements will include seven new benches around the playground, as well as a concrete walkway that will connect to the gazebo in the park and a soft surface trail to replace the asphalt trail that leads to the bridge to the library.
While work is underway, the city recommends families go to other parks around the city. Barnard suspects that West Lincoln Park and Howelsen Hill Beach playgrounds will see most of the Little Toots traffic.
The city has an interactive map of all area parks with a list of amenities at each that can be found at SteamboatSprings.net/134/Parks-Facilities.
Steamboat Parks and Recreation has a few other playgrounds on deck for improvements, but Little Toots has been a top priority for years.
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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