Opened more than a century ago, an 85-acre tree-filled park around 2 miles southwest of downtown Fort Collins is on the verge of an extensive upgrading.
City Park, at 1500 W. Mulberry, has been used and enjoyed by generations of Fort Collins and larger north central Colorado residents attracted to its playgrounds, picnic space, and tennis and pickleball courts.
A particularly popular feature of the park for some 60 years was the small train known as the City Park Railway, which offered rides to children until a derailment mishap caused it to be put out of commission in 2010.
Now Fort Collins officials are contemplating a major redevelopment of the park that will include new tennis and pickleball courts, restrooms, a recommissioned train, and new playground space.
What is being called the City Park Tomorrow project has already been the subject of several community and neighborhood input meetings and is expected to cost as much as $12 million to complete.
As planned, the project would be done in three phases, with the first $1.8 million phase including the installation of a new train and some 900 feet of track; and phase two devoted to the building of new tennis and pickleball courts, restrooms, and playground space with multi-level wooden play structures, costing around $6 million.
The final $4 million or so phase of the project, which might not begin until 2021, would bring the construction of additional picnic shelters, a pedestrian promenade and boardwalk along the shores of Sheldon Lake, among other features.
The project, which will also result in the creation of a botanical garden and an additional 46,000 square feet of green space in the park, is now awaiting final city approval before work on it can launch sometime next year.
By Garry Boulard
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