1. Community Engagement

    June - July 2022

  2. Plan

    August - October 2022

  3. Build

    Late 2022 or Early 2023

Project Overview

The existing playground equipment has passed its useful life and will be replaced.

Background

The existing playground equipment at North Boulder Park was installed in the late 1990s and has surpassed its useful life. Playgrounds generally have a 25–30-year lifespan before needing to be replaced as part availability becomes an issue on older models and repair frequency increases.

Replacement of older playground equipment also allows the city to keep up with current playground safety standards and address changes in playground trends and design.

In 2022, the existing playground at North Boulder Park will be replaced as part of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

A brief history of the North Boulder Park playground:

  • Late 1990s: Existing playground equipment installed at North Boulder Park.

  • 2014: Portions of the playground around the park shelter were renovated including addressing significant accessibility concerns identified in the department’s transition plan resulting from an update to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The renovation project also included installing new exercise equipment near the playground.

  • 2018: A small bike tot-track was installed on the northeast corner of the playground. This installation was possible as part of funding for an art sculpture that was not able to be realized.

Approximate project timeline:

  • Project kick-off: June 2022

  • Initial public outreach questionnaire: July 2022

  • Analysis of public feedback and concept plan development: August - September 2022

  • Final concept plan: September 2022

  • Materials purchasing and procurement: September through October 2022

  • Anticipated construction start date: November 2022

The new playground at North Boulder Park will provide opportunities for children of all ages to play, interact, and learn alongside their peers, within the existing playground footprint.

Community engagement for this project will focus on specific design options for the play equipment, such as colors and style of equipment. A final concept plan for the playground replacement will be developed from that community input.

While the playground's design will be specific to the North Boulder Park, there are standards that the department includes in all playground designs, including:

  • Playground equipment that can be used by children ages 2-5 and 5-12.

  • Equipment that can be enjoyed by children of all physical and mental abilities.

  • A variety of equipment that focuses on developing social and motor skills for different ages.

  • Swings for 2-5 and 5+ age groups, sand play, and slides.

  • Shade from the play equipment, shelters, or trees.

In addition to the playground replacement, the existing restrooms will be converted to year-round, unisex, ADA compliant facilities.

Other items being considered with the renovation include removal of existing fitness equipment, installation of a city wi-fi system, security lighting, and providing storage for the department to facilitate on-site programming.

North Boulder Park is located near Alpine-Balsam. For more information on that project's implementation, please see the link to related projects below.

Staff continues to develop conceptual alternatives based on the feedback from the community. As summary of the public engagement feedback and concept alternatives will be shared with PRAB at the October meeting as a discussion / information item.

Thanks to over 180 park users who responded to our questionnaire to tell us what you would like to see in a new playground. Staff is working on a concept design based on this feedback and will post the draft design here once complete. Join the project email list to receive updates!

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On July 29 and 30, 2022, staff held two in-person public meetings at North Boulder Park. In addition to the two in-person meetings, an online questionnaire was also available to the public. The intent of the meetings and online questionnaire was to gauge playground users’ preferences in playground themes and styles. They also provided staff the opportunity to listen to park and playground users and hear about their experiences at the playground and park.

The Friday, July 29, in-person meeting was held from 5-7 p.m. Approximately 50 people stopped by to talk with staff. The Saturday, July 30 in-person meeting was held from 9-11 a.m. Approximately 30 people stopped by. 46 people, mostly kids, filled out our kid-friendly survey (26 on Friday and 20 on Saturday). Responses to the online questionnaire closed on August 4 with 182 complete responses received.

Over the next month, staff will be analyzing the feedback and questionnaire responses to find consistent themes and trends. Staff will use this information to draft a concept plan for the new playground and equipment. This plan will be posted online and shared with the Parks Recreation and Advisory Board (PRAB) for a final round of feedback in September. Given the limited scope of this project, the second round of community feedback will be online only.

At the July PRAB meeting, PRAB members had the following questions and comments regarding the playground replacement project at North Boulder Park

Question/Comment: Will the fitness equipment at North Boulder Park be removed and/or replaced? The movable equipment is not used by adults and is often used by kids. The sense is that the stationary, body-weight equipment is frequently used by adults.

Response: At this point, no determination has been made on whether the existing fitness equipment should be removed, relocated, or replaced. A recommendation will be made with the concept plan that is developed over the next month and shared with the community and the PRAB. Staff has heard the comments provided by PRAB and had the opportunity to receive feedback from the public at the July 29 and 30 in-person meetings, as well as comments received from the online questionnaire. Staff will similarly consider comments from the Parks Operations and Maintenance team.

Early comments from the in-person meetings and online feedback are consistent with comments provided by the PRAB. Those comments are that the stationary equipment is popular and used by adults, but that the equipment with movable parts is not well-used by adults. Rather the movable equipment is used by younger playground users and is a safety concern for these users.

Moving forward, staff will be looking at opportunities to preserve the stationery equipment. However, consideration will need to be given to proximity to the new playground equipment that is installed, so similar safety concerns are not replicated.

Below is an approximate timeline for the duration of the project:

  • Project kick-off: June 2022

  • Initial public outreach and in-person feedback: July 2022

  • Analysis of public feedback and concept plan development: August through September 2022

  • Final concept plan: September 2022

  • Materials purchasing and procurement: October through December 2022

  • Anticipated construction start date: Q1 2023

In addition to the playground replacement, the department is also coordinating with the city’s Facilities Department to renovate and improve the existing shelter and shelter restrooms. The existing restrooms will be converted to year-round, unisex, ADA compliant facilities.

The existing playground equipment is over 20 years old and we’re planning to replace it.

Tell us what you’d like to see in a new playground!

Staff will be available onsite at the times listed to hear your thoughts and answer questions about the playground replacement. There will not be a presentation or formal meeting for this project. This is an informal opportunity to talk with staff about the project. Please join us for these drop-in sessions or participate online.

Kids are welcome! We will have activities geared towards our younger playground users.

Join us at North Boulder Park (800 Dellwood Ave. Boulder, CO 80304):

  • Friday, July 29 between 3-5 p.m. or

  • Saturday, July 30 between 9-11 a.m. or

  • Online questionnaire open thru August 4 - Now Closed!

Next Steps

Staff will use feedback from these in-person sessions and the online questionnaire to draft a concept plan for the new playground. The plan for the playground will be posted online and shared with our Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for a final round of feedback.

Given the limited scope of this project, the second round of feedback will be online only. There will not be an in-person meeting.

Engagement for this project focuses on the type and style of playground. Other areas of the park are not included for renovation at this time.

Stay up to date on the concept plan and next steps by signing up for project emails above.