“If you build it, they will come,” definitely holds true for the new Dolores playground.
After a two-year fundraising and rebuilding process, children again are playing on a castle-style fun center at Joe Rowell Park.
“It’s great to hear all the laughter and see how much fun the kids are having,” said Dolores Town board member Jen Stark.
Contractor Play by Design teamed up with town staff and skilled volunteer builders to install the main structure over two weeks in early June.
It was funded by a $173,400 Great Outdoors Colorado Grant, town funding and local donations. A larger, communitywide volunteer project was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional equipment for children ages 2 to 5 will be added later by KaBoom!, which awarded the project $80,000. The company hopes to have a volunteer community build in the fall. For more information, visit the Dolores Playground Group Facebook page.
The playground is now open, but because of restrictions on gatherings, only 10 children are allowed at one time, and they should stay 6 feet apart. Kids are required to wear face coverings when unable to maintain safe social distancing.
Families should bring their own hand sanitizer. Town staff plan to sanitize the playground daily.
“The community support for this project has been amazing. Everyone is smiling while volunteering 10-to-12-hour days,” said Lee Archer, co-founder of Play by Design and construction lead. “Hats off to everyone for making this happen.”
A grand playground at Joe Rowell Park has been a traditional hallmark of Dolores recreation for decades. It, along with the nearby Dolores River and hiking trails, attracts summer visitors from throughout the Four Corners.
“We came together to restore a gathering place where families and friends meet to relax outside of work. That’s key for a healthy society and town,” said Kalin Grigg, volunteer builder and member of the Dolores Parks Committee.