Western Town Park swings into action
Parachute and Battlement Mesa families welcomed a new community park and playground Saturday.
The grand opening of the Western Town and Playground went on for most of the afternoon. The playground gives kids a place to play unlike any other in town.
More than 300 people were estimated to be in attendance as the parking lot overflowed and food service was overrun by the end of the afternoon.
“The only park in the district is Cottonwood Park, so we knew that a park and playground was a number one priority,” said Jerry Mohrlang, assistant vice president for the Parachute and Battlement Mesa Park and Recreation District. “It’s going to be a great place for kids and parents.”
In the spring of 2011, a forum of local government officials and community leaders gathered at the Mohrlang residence to discuss community needs. The takeaways from that discussion are still paying off to this day.
“We decided then and there that the most pressing need for our recreation district was an interactive park where kids could play and families and friends could gather,” Mohrlang explained.
The Parachute and Battlement Mesa Park 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.
While more equipment needs to be put in before the park is completed, children can already race on the swings and slides, pump water at the bison hand pump and play in the Western Town that includes a jail, Alpine Bank building, saloon, general store, and more.
In order to raise money for the park the district has held several fundraisers over the years. In September 2011, with help from Battlement Mesa Co., the annual community golf tournament was born, and it raised nearly $15,000, which was enough to contract Connect One Design to develop a park plan. The district is now preparing to hold the seventh annual event.
The project also received a grant from Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District for preparation, irrigation and landscaping of the site and a grant worth $193,500 from Great Outdoors Colorado for the construction of the playground.
The park is now open to the public, and all members of the district and surrounding communities are encouraged to stop by.
Future plans for the park include an exercise trail with workout equipment, a pavilion or amphitheater, additional restrooms and maintenance storage, a mile-long bike trail and more.