Paula Jaconetta pushes her daughter, Lupita, at the ice rink in Oak Creek. The town this year revived its Winterfest event and hosted a day of ice skating, tubing and sledding. The town now is looking at other wasy to increase its recreational portfolio.

Photo by Scott Franz

Paula Jaconetta pushes her daughter, Lupita, at the ice rink in Oak Creek. The town this year revived its Winterfest event and hosted a day of ice skating, tubing and sledding. The town now is looking at other wasy to increase its recreational portfolio.

Town of Oak Creek plans new additions to recreational portfolio

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— Barb Parnell said it was a bit emotional for her on Thursday to listen to town leaders in Oak Creek talk about all the recreational amenities that have sprung up in their town in recent years.

Four years ago, Parnell, Livewell Northwest Colorado's community coordinator, was part of a small group of people just talking about ideas.

A new pump track.

A better park.

An afterschool recreation program.

“We all wanted to put recreation on the radar,” she said.

Today, there are many signs it certainly is.

That pump track was built two years ago on land that used to house old settling ponds.

Some new hiking and cross country trails are in town.

Next year, there are plans to improve Decker Park by adding things like a new basketball court and disc golf.

“We are just so pumped for all the changes that have happened here,” she said, adding the availability of grant money from a variety of sources, including Livewell, Great Outdoors Colorado and the Colorado Health Foundation, has helped the town boost its recreational offerings.

The momentum continued Thursday when a team of planners from the Colorado Center of Community Development, or CCCD, arrived in town to help update the recreational master plan for Oak Creek.

The group that includes students from the University of Colorado Denver previously helped the town plan such things as the new play area and basketball court at Soroco Middle School.

It took Anthony Pozzuoli only a few hours on his first visit to town to see more potential.

The recent landscape architecture graduate said Oak Creek's ice rink, which sits dormant in the summer months, could host something like a skate park to keep it busy year-round.

“These plans will help the town get those grants,” said Vickie Berkley, the assistant director for civic engagement​ at CCCD.

When town leaders met with the design group Thursday night, Mayor Nikki Knoebel said she was excited to see where the latest master plan leads, and the town needs to continue thinking outside the box.

She said there already is talk of creating the town's first campground, an idea that was met with enthusiasm by South Routt County's Economic Development Council.

Parnell said each of the new recreational opportunities helps to boost healthy lifestyles in the town.

“We see more people exercising for longer periods of time,” she said. "People are more active because they have more places to go. When you have something that's close to you and it's convenient, you do it more.”

Comments

Scott Wedel 1 year, 1 month ago

Well, these are nice luxuries that seem to be of far more interest to town government than essential services such as repairing a broken fire hydrant (hydrant removed 11 months ago with continual promises to fix it) or do what ever other water district in Colorado has achieved which is water meters on businesses.

The Town knowingly has picked too high of a water rate for laundromats so none are open to the public and so hunters have to leave Oak Creek to do their laundry instead of spending an hour or two in Oak Creek.

Easiest solution taken by every other water district in Colorado according to DOLA is to not arbitrarily charge different businesses different rates, but have one commercial rate plan that charges by USAGE.

But somehow, the obvious requirements of getting meters installed on commercial accounts and reading them is too much work for this town government. It is far easier for the town to request studies on installing meters on alll accounts. Getting water meters on all residents is a much bigger problem than two dozen or so active commercial accounts and so the study predictably says water meters is a difficult problem.

I don't know why town government is so opposed to water meters on commercial accounts and reading commercial water meters like in every other Colorado water district.

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brian ferguson 1 year, 1 month ago

I always thought it would be cool if they widened the creek through the park for better fishing.

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