This is the second time Dave Pike, director of Parks and Recreation, has applied for a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant for the beautification of Breeze Park.
“GOCO is a really competitive process,” he said. “As the year goes by and money gets tighter, it gets more competitive.”
The project would need about $330,000, with $215,000 of that coming from grant money.
The beautification plan includes putting up a gazebo, building a community garden and installing a fully handicap-accessible playground.
Currently, the park sits on 10 lots of land, and the new plan also includes adding bathrooms and a paved parking lot.
“Right now it’s just grass, basically, and old playground equipment,” said City Councilmember Gene Bilodeau.
While the plan got good scores on the grant application, it was turned down the first time around because they hadn’t demonstrated enough community interest or support, Pike said.
But, that doesn’t mean the community need isn’t there, he said. It just means it’s time for the community to get involved and speak up.
“It is in a really good location and for me being a teacher at Sunset; some of my students could do community service,” said Sara Linsacum who is also on the board of Parks and Recreation.
Linsacum said the gardens would be a great opportunity for students from Sunset Elementary to help out their town while learning.
“I see that being large in my classroom and for my students,” she said. “I was automatically drawn to it for our kids to use as a way to give back to the community.”
Besides providing a hands-on learning environment, Linsacum said it should be a draw to people of all ages.
“I’ve dealt with (needing) a place where people can get married or have their family reunion. It think it could be used for that,” she said. “For seniors, it (could be) a place for them to walk with a developed walking path.”
Bilodeau said he is excited for Breeze Park to become more developed.
“It’s right there by St. Michael’s church and it’s in a residential area,” he said. “I look forward to going to a place that has a park feel.”
He said it fits well with the city’s priorities.
“In Craig we’ve been looking to do more general beautification of the community,” Bilodeau said.
Breeze Park had been part of the school district until April 2011 when the district donated it to the city with the expectation that Parks and Recreation could get grant money to beautify it.
Additions to Breeze Park could provide a great space for children to play said Joe Petrone, Moffat County School District superintendent.
“I believe it’s going to be supported,” he said. “It’s such a wonderful collaborative endeavor with the school district and the city.”
With the plan in place, Pike is now seeking community input to beef up the grant application that is due Aug. 28. He has a comment box open at City Hall, and board members from Parks and Recreation have been knocking on doors, making phone calls and writing support letters for the grant.
“I’ve been contacting people,” Linsacum said. “I think a lot of people don’t even know what is going on in that area.”
Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or email@example.com