Fraser sports complex plans for new playground

Reid Tulley

FRASER — The Fraser Valley Sports Complex may be getting a playground overhaul. The proposed 2014 reconstruction of the playground will include features that relate to the Valley’s rich history, such as a train and stage coach, and will bring the park into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act.

Scott Ledin, director of parks and recreation for the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District, along with the Fraser Valley Recreation Foundation, has been in the process of developing plans for the new playground and has already begun to develop community support. The recreation district’s board of directors has voiced support for the project, as has the Fraser Town Board.

The existing park, installed in 1996, is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. But the main reasons behind building a new playground at the sports complex is to improve safety and accessibility by bringing the park into ADA compliance.

In March of 2012, the ADA revised its playground guidelines to include new regulations for play activities and surfacing of play areas. The surfacing is a very important component of the regulation and ideally is poured rubber surfacing, according to Ledin.

The Fraser Valley Sports Complex is used by residents and visitors for adult and youth sports, and for picnicking at the facility’s public tables and grills. The existing playground at the facility is undersized and often overused by the amount of visitors the complex sees, according to Ledin.

A representative from Rocky Mountain Recreation, Inc., a forerunner when it comes to cutting edge playgrounds, according to Ledin, has visited the existing playground site and submitted a plan and bid.

The estimated price of the new playground is about $500,000, according to Ledin. And the Recreation Foundation is now concentrating on raising the funds to meet that cost. The Foundation and the Recreation District have already raised nearly $200,000 of the project cost in matching funds and committed in-kind donations. The Foundation will be seeking grants for the project from local sources as well as private and other grantors, and will be hosting fundraisers. The main grant they will be seeking will be from Great Outdoors Colorado, which is funded by the Colorado Lottery.

The District is hoping to organize a community build day when residents can help by volunteering with the playground construction work. Local support would allow for the project to be completed at a much lower cost than if Rocky Mountain Recreation, Inc., were to complete the construction.

Playing with history

The planned playground will incorporate the history of the Fraser Valley into the various components including a train, jailhouse and mercantile building, complete with interpretive signage to educate children on the history of the valley. The Grand County Historical Association has agreed to create these educational signs, according to Ledin.

The designs for the playground include a portion of the playground that pays homage to the history of the Ute Indians in the valley, complete with teepees and a canoe. Another part of the playground would be designed to resemble many of the old buildings that were found in Fraser in the past, as well as a stagecoach that resembles those used on the old Stage Coach Route through the valley.

The train would be on tracks leading to a small rendition of the Moffat Tunnel, which would also serves as a kid-sized climbing wall. The different features in the playground would be designed for use by children from ages 2 to 12. Local residents will be able to pledge money and receive an engraved bronze leaf on the Donation Tree in the lobby of the Grand Park Community Recreation Center for a contribution of $75, or contribute $150 for a silver leaf. Donations of $300 or more will be recognized at the playground site. For more information on the project, contact Scott Ledin at

Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334

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