Important Updates:

The city expands beta to preview its new website and gather feedback. | More Info


The City of Boulder welcomes your feedback. Use our Inquire Boulder customer service tool to tell us what’s on your mind.

  • Channel 8
  • My City News
  • Facebook
  • Public Saftey

Civic Area's Creekside Play Area Opens Saturday, Dec. 9

Civic Area park planners selected unique play area amenities for this area that will help children and families connect with the natural environment through learning, exploring, and play

Kids of all ages, let's head outside. The new Civic Area nature playground, Creekside Play Area is ready to open! The City of Boulder invites the community to celebrate the opening of this final milestone of the Civic Area Park's Phase One of construction - the “park at the core” enhancements to Central Park. A small grand opening event will be held at the Creekside Play Area, near the Boulder Main Library, on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will feature live music, free refreshments, kids activities and the opportunity to play on the new the tree house made possible by a generous gift facilitated by the PLAY Boulder Foundation on behalf of the Wagner Family. 

When opened on Dec. 9, the new “Nature Play” area will be more than just a playground with fun play equipment for Boulder's youth. The amenity will also be a state-of-the-art park area with specially-selected features encouraging fun and hands-on learning about our region's water resources and natural infrastructure. 

The Nature Play concept in Boulder's Civic Area Park evolved from a community desire to create a more vibrant and active urban park that allows children to learn and explore the natural world. 

In 2015, Boulder community members asked park planners to follow five guidelines for Civic Area Nature Play:

  • Create safe water play areas near the creek, 
  • Provide play zones for kids of all ages,
  • Utilize natural materials creating greater connection to nature area,
  • Place seating and gathering areas near play zones, and
  • Incorporate learning opportunities.

From sketches submitted by local parents and kids, the designs developed into features that will be unique to Boulder. 

“Key steps in this design process included concepts solicited during visits with school children, an online design inspiration campaign, and a highly successful Nature Play Symposium,” said Jeff Haley, parks planning manager for Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department. “Now, we see some of those same people returning to the construction site to see their ideas come to life. It’s a real thrill for all involved.”

Over the past year, visitors in the children’s library area have been seen looking out windows adjacent to the play area site. It’s also common to see park visitors pausing along the Boulder Creek path to watch crews sculpt some of the water features. 

Civic Area park planners selected unique play area amenities for this area that will help children and families connect with the natural environment through learning, exploring, and play. For more information about the interactive amenities and water features, visit the city's Nature Play webpage.

“We are thrilled that children will have this opportunity just outside the library with these amazing features,” said Library Director David Farnan. “This area can only add to the learning opportunities for our visiting children inside the building. Whether playing and learning outside or checking out books inside, we are providing multiple platforms to enhance curiosity and learning. We are a very fortunate community!”

At the opening of the Creekside Play Area on Dec. 9, participants will be able to explore many of the new features. Depending on weather conditions leading up to the play area event, water play elements may not be operational to prevent freeze damage. Visitors can anticipate water to be flowing in the spring if they are not turned on for the opening. These features include an Archimedes Screw which helps children learn how water moves and shapes the land, metal bucket wheels which turn by the power of water flowing, and a flow table allowing youth to experience how adjustable barriers form an obstacle to flowing water. Should weather not accommodate a sneak preview, children may still enjoy other features including the tree house, slide and “stacky-stack” climbing feature. 

This opening event accompanies the city's free Community Ice Skate at the Downtown WinterSkate ice rink, sponsored by Boulder Parks and Recreation and produced by Boulder Creek Events. Following the grand opening of the play area, make sure you stroll through the new Civic Area Park to lace up your skates and take to the ice. Ice skating and skate rentals are free from 2 to 4 p.m.  

The Civic Area project website will continue to provide updates what is next in the planning and engagement phases, activation and 2018 events, updated maps, links to aid in permitting an event or reserving a special space and more. The transformation of this 13-acre enhancement area in Boulder’s downtown was made possible by the 2014 voter-passed 2A Community, Culture and Safety Tax which invested $8.7 million in the park. 

For more information about Civic Area Phase One construction, please visit the Civic Area Project's website or contact Denise White, Communication Specialist, at [email protected] or 303-413-7258.

Monday, Dec. 4, 2017

Media Contacts:
Denise White, Parks and Recreation Communication Specialist, 303-413-7258
Ben Irwin, Deputy Communication Director, 303-441-3155