By Lucas Vader
Later this summer, residents of the Cedaredge area will see a change to the beloved Cedaredge Town Park. This change, according to Town Administrator Greg Brinck, will be in the form of a complete replacement of the main structure which includes the swirly slide, the yellow bridge and the monkey bars.
“[It] has a couple cracks in the playground structure that are not unsafe right now, but it is older equipment that does not have replacement parts anymore, so it does need to be replaced,” Brinck said.
As far as funding for the project is concerned, Brinck referred to the bike park that is currently being built at Confluence Park in Delta with a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation (CHF), which was awarded last July.
That same CHF grant is covering Cedaredge’s playground construction as well, and will need to be completed by the end of August. Brinck said the town hopes to have it competed by the end of July or possibly the beginning of August.
The project started with the Delta County Health Department, Brinck said. They were the ones to apply for the grant, which after it was rewarded, was to cover three communities: the bike park in Delta, the Cedaredge park playground and the Hotchkiss Nature Connection.
The Town of Cedaredge made more final plans for the grant money after Scott Lock, previous co-director of public works, found wear and tear that could become problematic in the next number of years.
The smaller structure inside the chain link fence is staying the way it is, as are the merry-go-round and the swings. In addition to the replacement of the main structure, however, residents will see some new features coming to the park.
“We got back and kind of amended our initial plans for use of those funds to do a full new playground structure,” Brinck said. “We also plan on doing sensory chimes.”
Sensory chimes, which will likely be recognized after a quick internet search for those who aren’t sure what those are, are considered intergenerational, which is a stipulation of the CHF grant that is funding the project.
“Anyone can go play on them, from a toddler to a senior,” Brinck said, “so that was part of the grant.”
Despite knowing the general aspects that will go into the playground, the design has not yet been selected, or even proposed. The Town will select a number of design proposals and then put a poll out on Facebook so that the community can cast votes on their favorites, Greg said, and that poll is expected to go out in the first week of June.
“It’s probably going to be similar in the sense that it’s going to have some similar elements like monkey bars and climbing things, but as far as the colors and all that, I’m not even sure what it’s going to look like,” Brinck said.
The whole project had originally been planned to happen earlier in the summer, but was ultimately delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The original deadline for the grant had been the end of May of this year, meaning the town would have originally liked to have it completed by this point, just in time for summer vacation.
Of course, the pandemic had come with restrictions that closed playgrounds.
“Since we were planning on redoing the playground, we didn’t want to move forward and have a nice new playground with caution tape around it, with no one able to use it,” Brinck said. So they took advantage of the grant extension to wait on the project.
The Cedaredge Town Park has generally been planned for extra maintenance this year, as the trees went through some major maintenance this spring, in a project that hasn’t been done to that scale in five or six years, according to Brinck. With healthy trees and a new playground structure, the park will theoretically be ready for use at the end of this pandemic.
For now, the town plans on putting out the poll for playground designs as early as the beginning of next week, and encourages residents of the area to get on Facebook and pick their favorites.