High five!

Members of the Panorama Park Youth Advisory Council celebrate after a bicycle ride through Southeast Colorado Springs to the park. [Courtesy photo/Allen Beauchamp]

A park with a view also has a vision. 

The Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Advisory Board gave its unanimous blessing to the Panorama Park Master Plan on July 11.  The vote brings to a close a two-year planning process that brought together a coalition of community partners, including the city Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department, the multi-agency RISE Coalition, the Trust for Public Land, a slew of community members, a 13-member Youth Advisory Council, recreation advocates and enthusiasts, landscape architects and park-design specialists, among others. 

It also means the overhauled park could be open for play in 2021. 

This is a big deal! So big, in fact, that we’re dedicating this High Five to this major accomplishment!

The master plan re-envisions the 13.5-acre, mostly undeveloped park as a shade-dappled oasis with rolling lawns, a tournament-sized soccer field, a playground, a workout area, basketball courts, a skate park, a pavilion, picnic benches with built-in umbrellas, walking and bicycle trails and an estimated 200 new trees. 

The park will be totally ADA-accessible, Principal Landscape Architect Jesse Clark told the board. His company, Stream Landscape Architecture + Planning, spearheaded the design process. To check out an artist’s rendering, visit coloradosprings.gov/panoramapark. 

The master plan has roots in an intensive fact-finding mission that included two open houses, three parties in the park, 10 meetings with area stakeholders, countless hours going door-to-door, hundreds of digital and written surveys and at least one organized bicycle ride. 

The 13 youth council members – Jonathan Bradley, Dertavion Hayes, Deshaun Hill, Ty Kyra Lancaster, Anthony Orellana, Aliyah Parra, Ketrin Plumber, Nathan Ramirez, Temesha Tucker, Ryan Rhoads, Sophia Rhoads and Christian Vigil — played a crucial role in the project. They collected surveys, spoke at gatherings and, according to Tucker, even served hotdogs to engage the neighborhood. 

In all, 1,400 fans of the park shared their thoughts, wishes and opinions. 

“The engagement of Panorama Park has truly been a community effort,” said Emily Patterson, director of the Trust for Public Land’s Parks for People Program. 

“Not only is this park a physical space, it’s doing something for our community, for our residents, for our youth,” said Joyce Salazar, El Paso County Public Health community outreach coordinator and RISE chief. “It’s so much more than just a playground, a swing set, a slide. It’s really bringing us together.”

** Related content: A vision, approved **
** Park with a vision **
** A transformative program **

— Regan Foster

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