One of Castle Rock’s most popular parks will see millions in upgrades this summer, including an inclusive playground for people of all abilities.
Originally built more than 30 years ago, Butterfield Crossing Park is slated to see several improvements starting this spring. Castle Rock’s town council will discuss a construction contract at its April 19 meeting.
Likely the biggest change at Butterfield will be to the existing playground at the park, which will triple in size and feature a Possibilities Playground with inclusive playground equipment, such as wheelchair accessible merry-go-rounds, harness swings, sensory walks and dual seater slides.
“We’re super excited to be able to have a diverse population come and play together,” Castle Rock Parks and Trails Foundation Executive Director Marne Hanson said. “One of the big things that people really want to see are things that cater to different abilities, whether it’s sensory or cognitive or physical.”
The Parks and Trails Foundation is in the process of raising $1.3 million for the Possibilities Playground with around $300,000 raised already so far.
Hanson said the foundation is planning to ramp up fundraising events this summer, but has been soliciting sponsors and donations through Colorado Gives.
The goal is to be able to purchase the playground equipment and start installing it in the fall.
Hanson said adding the Possibilities Playground will meet a large demand for inclusive spaces. This will be Castle Rock’s first inclusive park and one of only a few in the region, including LuBird’s Light Playground and Red-tailed Hawk Playground in Aurora.
Hanson named the town’s therapeutic recreation program and local nonprofit Wellsprings as interested users.
“Oftentimes parents tell us that they will show up to an inclusive playground and it will only have one swing, so we’re going to have a lot of things that everyone can go on,” she said. “It will be a big draw for a lot of different groups and it’s already a really popular park in Castle Rock.”
In addition to the playground changes, the basketball and tennis courts will be refreshed, additional shelters will be built, bathrooms will see improvements and pickleball courts and batting cages will be added to the amenities.
Castle Rock Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation Jeff Smullen said the park will also see structural enhancements to irrigation, parking and trail connections. In total, Butterfield Crossing work is expected to be around $5 million.
“It’s one of the older parks in town and Butterfield is also one of the most popular parks, so it should really reflect that,” he said. “We want to make sure that it’s not just a park to come play, but that there are a lot of things for families to do.”
Smullen noted the park will remain open throughout construction, but areas will be closed as they are undergoing work, so there will be some inconvenience.
Construction is expected to finish in the spring of 2023.
“We want to go beyond just renovating, but do something even better and great for the community,” Smullen said. “The whole idea is that the park has lasted for 35 years and we want to make improvements so it will keep going.”
Other parks on the town’s schedule to see upgrades are Mitchell Gulch and Plum Creek parks.