For many years, the Scott Carpenter Park, which is located in Boulder County, Colorado, is a playground that has been a favorite for both kids and adults. There are numerous recreational facilities available to visitors, including a swimming pool, skate park, open turf field, diamond field, and the iconic Scott Carpenter playground. And for the first time since its equipment was installed in 1999, it will undergo much-needed upgrades this spring. As part of the renovation, older equipment will be replaced, new flooring will be laid, and more seating will be added. Some of the proposed renovations are geared toward teenagers between the ages of 10 and 16 and will be based on feedback from Growing Up Boulder, a local nonprofit organization.
Founded in 2016, this nonprofit organization serves as Boulder’s child-and-youth-friendly city initiative and works with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to meet the needs and desires of teenagers in Boulder, Boulder County. As executive director and co-founder Mara Mintzer explained, teens in the area are mostly interested in outdoor play areas and recreational equipment tailored specifically for them.
“In 2016, we worked with a class of 11 and 12-year-olds at Casey Middle School and high schoolers in the I Have a Dream Foundation to find out what their ideal team-friendly playground or park or outdoor space would look like, and what came out of that was a report on teen-friendly parks and playgrounds,” said Mintzer. In 2020, the Parks and Recreation Department began updating the master plan for Scott Carpenter Park, knowing they needed to be responsive to teen concerns. They felt compelled to take that advice from the team and implement it. This week, after years of planning, the renovation project is finally set to start. There will finally be dedicated recreation areas for kids, teens, and adults at one of the city’s most popular and heavily used parks.
“We believe that the teen space will be a great addition to the playground,” senior landscape architect Doug Godfrey said. Some of the things that they have learned through their research and conversations with Growing Up Boulder is that the larger Scott Carpenter Park and Aquatics facility has some elements that could make this a successful space for teens.
They also plan to incorporate LED strip lighting into custom seating that will be installed and add a custom structure that will include hammocks and a net climber so that teens can utilize the space in the evenings as well.
Godfrey, who will manage the playground construction project, said the team will be working with a budget of approximately $475,000 as part of the Boulder Parks and Recreation Department’s yearly capital maintenance program. The scheduled completion date is still Monday, May 30 so construction will be wrapped before Scott Carpenter Pool opens its leisure pool in addition to the lap lanes. While Scott Carpenter’s playground will be closed during the two months, community members can visit nearby playgrounds such as Emma Gomez Martinez Park and Arapahoe Ridge Park.
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