Improvements underway at Hot Sulphur Springs park | SkyHiNews.com

Improvements underway at Hot Sulphur Springs park

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Hot Sulphur Springs, CO Colorado

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS -Improvements are under way at Pioneer Park, the mile-long river stretch of public land along the Colorado.

On the southwest end of the park, between the river and the train tracks near the hot springs, workers are creating better-defined campsites with picnic tables and fire rings to consolidate camping traffic and prevent further damage to the riparian zone and wetlands.

The area also will have three day areas for anglers and other visitors as well as the park’s first group site where several people can camp together.

At each campsite, “there will be a nice flat place for parking, to pitch a tent and for a picnic table,” said Geoff Elliott, principal earth scientist of Grand Environmental Services, Grand Lake. Elliott has been involved with improvements at Pioneer Park since the town purchased the land with an open-space grant back in 1999.

The most recent Great Outdoors Colorado grant to Hot Sulphur Springs in the amount of $26,000, plus previous Great Outdoors Colorado support, has made continued improvements possible.

“The money is also being used to restore the riparian corridor that has been frankly hammered over the years,” Elliott said.

The current phase of the park project is scheduled to be wrapped up by mid-June. Workers are re-using fill material dug out in the construction of Hot Sulphur Springs’ new water treatment plant – a stimulus funds project – to make the new campsites. “It’s really a nice win-win scenario,” Elliott said.

A layer of road base is planned for parking spots as well as woodchips to keep areas less muddy when it rains.

“I love the park; it’s one of my favorite places in the county,” Elliott said.

A pedestrian bridge is on track to be built this fall, one that will span over the river from a trail at Hot Sulphur Springs’ water treatment plant near the ballfields park, and end near camping and the first tee of the disc golf course in Pioneer Park.

The project was deemed worthy of a fall 2009 $232,000 highway corridor enhancement project grant through the Colorado Department of Transportation, which funnels federal funds. The town is matching $58,000 to make the bridge project possible.

The bridge is included in the town’s Trails Master Plan, which was assembled from a previous GOCO planning grant.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.


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