Battlement Mesa trails to connect kids to community park | PostIndependent.com

Battlement Mesa trails to connect kids to community park

Battlement Mesa Metro District Manager Steve Rippy points out where the new connection trail will be in relationship to Grand Valley Middle School and the park.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

The Battlement Mesa community opened a new park and playground last summer, and with nearby families already enjoying the new attraction, plans are moving forward to make improvements to the only playground in the neighborhood.

On Jan. 8, the Battlement Mesa Metro District received an additional $200,000 from the Garfield County commissioners to make the park more accessible to the entire community.

As Metro District Manager Steve Rippy explained, the funds will be used to improve walking and biking trails into the park and will connect the park to nearby landmarks like the Grand Valley Middle School and Grand Valley Recreation Center. The sidewalk project has also benefitted from a Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District grant.

The park’s proximity to the school offers convenient and unique recreational opportunities for students and Battlement Mesa residents, he said.

“After school, there are a lot of those kids who walk directly over to the rec center, and there really isn’t a connecting point,” he explained at a Jan. 8 commissioners hearing.

With the help of the Parachute Battlement Mesa Trail Group, a chartered volunteer committee of the separate Parachute and Battlement Mesa Parks and Recreation District, the district developed a plan involving several dead-end or incomplete sidewalk and trail segments that border the school grounds and adjoin the community park property.

According to the trail project description, the plan is to complete these trail and sidewalk connections to create a looped trail system to and through the park. A connecting crosswalk and sidewalk will also be established between the middle school and recreation center to allow for easy and safe access for students between the two facilities.

Rippy said the trail will be six feet wide made from existing sidewalk. All told, he said the completion of the trail connections will provide for an approximate 1-mile looped trail around the park and school.

The plan calls for seven potential sections of sidewalk near the school, ranging from 530 feet to 1,725 feet in length.

The estimated cost of the project is around $200,000. The county will use funds from the 2018 Conservation Trust Fund, according to the press release.

“This will definitely enhance the area and make it a lot more accessible for a lot more people,” said Commissioner Mike Samson. Commissioners approved the grant request unanimously.

The Parks and Rec District is also in talks about adding a “flow trail” at the Community Park for mountain bikes and harder terrain.

The Parks and Recreation District encompasses an area roughly from Rulison to just beyond Wallace Creek, including unincorporated Battlement Mesa and the town of Parachute. It currently serves approximately 7,500 residents of the district and continues to find ways to improve the lives of its residents.