New concept in playgrounds

Stock Bridge play area won't be ready for weeks


Youngsters who have been riding past the new playground equipment under construction at Stock Bridge Park are being asked to wait about a month before playing on the new equipment.

"We're excited, because it's a great location. It's on the Yampa River Core Trail, there's plenty of parking and there are already restrooms at the site," city parks supervisor Ernie Jenkins said. "But I have a lot of work to do before I can open it."

The new playground is being built adjacent to the Stock Bridge Transit Center.

Jenkins said grant money from Great Outdoors Colorado played an instrumental role in securing public open space surrounding the transit center and in building the playground. He has not finalized the total cost of the playground project.

The playground will feature three distinct attractions. Already visible is a "frontier land" which is intended for toddlers. It was manufactured by a company called Little Tikes.

Distinctly different in its appearance is the new "Galaxy" climbing gym manufactured by a Danish firm, Konpan.

The new gym has a futuristic appearance and is designed to appeal to children ages 6 to 12.

"It's a new concept in playground equipment," Jen-kins said. "It's more sophisticated. This is for kids who need to be challenged because they have so much energy."

The Galaxy is the only one of its kind in Colorado, Jenkins said, and breaks the mold of old-school climbing gyms.

"The ladders don't look like typical ladders and the ropes don't look like typical ropes," Jenkins said. "It has triangle platters that swing in different directions."

The equipment will encourage children to develop balance and motor skills, Jenkins said.

The third piece in the playground, which has yet to be constructed, will be a Western village built just for Steamboat, Jenkins said. It will feature false Western storefronts, a jail and a bank, all built along boardwalks with hitching posts.

"We're trying to build something that's creative," Jenkins said.

Elsewhere in the city parks system, the same crews that are assembling the playground are refurbishing the River Queen replica steamboat in Lincoln Park.

Other workers are building a hexagonal picnic shelter next to the concession stand at the Howelsen Hill softball diamonds.

Jenkins repeated his request for youngsters to stay off the new equipment at Stock Bridge until the grand opening, about a month away.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail


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