Project Overview

The City of Boulder Parks & Recreation (BPR) is renovating the northern end of one of the City’s most beloved neighborhood parks, North Boulder Park.

The design for this active part of the neighborhood park has the potential to reimagine the look, feel, and function that is unique to this community. The new park will focus on youth including teens, wellness and fitness, green infrastructure and stormwater mitigation.

Para recibir más información en español, por favor llame al 303-413-7200 x9.


Approximate Project Timeline

  • Project kick-off: June 2022
  • Initial public outreach questionnaire: July 2022
  • Analysis of public feedback and concept plan development: August through September 2022
  • Phase 1: Restroom Renovations and Fitness Court Installation (Complete)
  • Phase 2: Stormwater Improvements and Playground Replacement (Coming Soon!)
  • Final design and permitting (2024)
  • Construction (2025)


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 2022-2023, 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.

Improvements Planned

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. Spaces for teens, a new fitness court, improvements for the picnic shelter and restrooms.

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.

Project Updates

The new Fitness Court® is installed and available to use at North Boulder Park. We celebrated the grand opening on a chilly October 27th morning! Download the free Fitness Court App to gain access to the largest free outdoor gym network and expert training wherever you go. Learn more about this Fitness Court ®.

Additionally, staff are coordinating stormwater management improvements and park renovations. Boulder Parks and Recreation interviewed consultants for the design of the north end of the park on Friday, Nov. 17. The selected consultant will build upon community outreach that was completed in 2022.

Fitness Court North Boulder Park

The new Fitness Court® is installed and available to use at North Boulder Park. Community members are invited to a grand opening celebration for the Fitness Court® on Friday, Oct. 27 at 10 a.m. Read more about the Fitness Court®.

The Fitness Court® was developed in partnership with UCHealth and the National Fitness Campaign to expand free access to high quality workouts and create an equitable exercise space for community members. The outdoor gym allows community members to use their own body weight to exercise. Users can also download the free Fitness Court® app which acts as a coach-in-your-pocket and shows how to use each fitness station.

The Fitness Court’s installation is part of phased work for the ongoing renovations at North Boulder Park.

North Boulder Park Fitness Court

Thanks to a partnership and grant from the National Fitness Campaign and UCHealth, a fitness court will be installed at North Boulder Park to replace the old exercise equipment. The pictures above show examples of the fitness court, which will be a free, public, outdoor gym.

The playground, shelter, bathrooms and other park areas will remain open to the public during the fitness court installation. All trees in the park will remain. This project does not call for the removal of any trees.

We will remove the old exercise equipment and update the underground stormwater infrastructure, which need to be done before replacing the playground.

The map below shows the areas that will be impacted in Fall 2023.

Map of fitness court installation at North Boulder Park

Fitness Court Relocation and Replacement

One of the biggest requests made by community members during the 2022 engagement process was the relocation and replacement of the adult exercise equipment at North Boulder Park. The current proximity to the playground and moving parts attract kids to use this equipment which causes safety concerns and maintenance issues.

The new Fitness Court will be east of the picnic shelter - where the adult exercise area was previously located. Installation will take place starting with concrete work in September. The concrete must rest for a month before the equipment will be installed in October.

Community members who currently use this space to gather in the grass should plan to use another spot in the park. Thanks for your understanding as we upgrade this park's amenities!

Pop-up Play Possibilities

Once the new Fitness Court is in place, we will remove the old equipment and add temporary play opportunities in this area before the full playground replacement takes place. Should it be mini lawn games? Nature play? Something else entirely?

Send your ideas to by September 15 for consideration by our team.

Restroom and Shelter Renovations Complete

A new heated restroom floor and plumbing updates are in the shelter. These improvements will allow for the restroom to be used year round.

The restrooms and shelter are open to the public.

Next Steps

Staff will contract a landscape architect to finalize the concept plan. The concept plan will include:

  • stormwater mitigation in the north area of the park;
  • the playground renovation;
  • opportunities for nature play;
  • a teen area.

Since the timing depends on stormwater improvements, we will update you when we have more information. The concept plan will be shared with the community and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board when it's available.

As we shared in December 2022, community feedback and additional information from other department have expanded the scope of this project. In addition to staffing changes, this expanded scope has extended the project timeline.

Thank you for your continued feedback and patience as we work through this process.

The original scope of the project was limited to replacing the playground equipment and updating the shade structure and restrooms. We are now planning to address more possibilities and potential issues in the park, such as:

  • Stormwater drainage issues;
  • Challenges with location and style of exercise equipment;
  • Missing teen based play opportunities;
  • Missing opportunities for incorporating more nature play;
  • In addition, the upcoming adjacent development of Alpine Balsam prompted staff to consider a wider range of experiences in the park.

Projects Underway

Restroom renovations are underway since they will be unaffected by planned stormwater improvements. Demolition of the existing floor has been completed, and a new heated floor system has been installed. Electrical and plumbing modifications are in progress.

A new concrete floor slab and wall repairs will be completed by the end of March.

Once restroom renovations are complete, they will be open to the community.

Stormwater Updates

Several stormwater issues identified in the early phase of the project include:

  • During high water flow events, stormwater flows across the playground with enough velocity to displace the pea gravel play surface;
  • Wet and soggy areas are consistently present on the park's south side;
  • Staff is working closely with the Utilities Department and the Facilities and Fleet Department to improve stormwater mitigation across the entire park.

Next Steps

Staff will contract a landscape architect to finalize the concept plan. The concept plan will include:

  • stormwater mitigation in the north are of the park;
  • the playground renovation;
  • further picnic shelter improvements;
  • fitness area; and
  • teen area based.

Since the timing is dependent upon stormwater improvements, we will update you when we have more information.

Parks Construction Team has started the demolition phase of the restrooms. Demolition phase should last approx. 3-5 days. Plumbing, electric, and concrete work will start to phase in sometime the week of February 20. Minor impacts to site usage can be expected around the immediate restroom area with some intermittent noise and construction vehicles.

The restroom renovation will begin in February and is scheduled to be complete this spring. The restrooms will not be available during their renovation, but portable restrooms will be open to the for the public to use on site.

Once renovated, the restrooms will be available throughout the playground renovation, which will begin after Labor Day.

Staff continue to work on a final concept plan for the playground area, including:

  • Analyzing community feedback on the concept plans, including over 140 responses from community members received through the online form in November 2022;
  • A land survey of North Boulder Park;
  • Collaboration with the nearby Alpine-Balsam project to better understand stormwater mitigation options.

The final concept plan will be posted on the project webpage, sent to the project email group, and shared with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board at a future meeting.

Thanks to over 140 community members who filled out the feedback form to tell us your opinions on the two proposed concept plans for North Boulder Park playground and shelter renovation!

City staff originally planned to complete a final concept plan by the end of 2022, but have been delayed by staffing changes.

This additional time will allow staff to update the land survey for the park and coordinate more closely with the nearby Alpine-Balsam project.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. More details will be shared in the first quarter of 2023.

More than 140 people provided feedback online about the two site plan options. Staff is working to analyze the responses and incorporate them into a final site plan. The final site plan will be posted here in December.

Use el formulario en línea antes del 7 de noviembre para hacernos llegar su opinión sobre los planes conceptuales para el parque infantil de North Boulder!

Para recibir más información en español, llame al 720-766-5047.

Use the online form by November 14 to tell us what you think about the concept plans for North Boulder Playground!

Option A: Drawing of potential layout of North Boulder Park Playground and other amenities..
Option B: Drawing of potential layout of North Boulder Park Playground and other amenities.

Based on feedback from the community and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB), staff developed two concept plans for the North Boulder Park Site Plan.

The two concept plans are posted above for your reference. For more details, see the October PRAB packet starting on page 12.

The concept plans consist of active play areas and areas for passive recreation and gathering. The active play areas in both plans contain the playground equipment for 2 to 5 and 5 to 12 age ranges, and water play opportunities.

The passive spaces in both alternatives include the shelter, bermed areas, and open turf. Teen-friendly features and amenities are also incorporated into both active and passive recreation areas.

The fitness equipment would be relocated and updated. It would also include adjacent space to provide opportunities for health and wellness programs.

The proposed active and passive space areas in each alternative would minimize impacts to the existing park site, including mature trees, to the greatest extent possible.

The PRAB will discuss draft concept plans of North Boulder Playground at their meeting on Monday, October 24 at 6 p.m. To sign up to speak at the meeting, visit the PRAB webpage.

Community members are invited to fill out this quick questionnaire by November 14 to share your thoughts on the concept plans.

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!


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.

Latest Events