City Parkâ€™s central location, large lake and wide open spaces seem to have garnered the attention of CSU students, Fort Collins residents and Collegian readers who voted it the cityâ€™s best park in the 2011 â€œBest of CSUâ€ survey.
The award â€“ and City Parkâ€™s first ever first-place win in the survey â€“ comes just in time for the parkâ€™s 100th birthday. The city has been celebrating the park, which it called, on its official website, a location that is â€œclosely tied to the economic and social history of Fort Collins,â€ all year through events, celebrations and special activities.
For Mike Calhoon, the cityâ€™s parks supervisor, City Park is not only the oldest park in Fort Collins, itâ€™s also an epicenter for community events as well as outdoor and indoor activities.
â€œIt has the pool and the paddle boats (in the summer) as well as Club Tico, a historic venue for dances, a pottery studio, the baseball and softball fields,â€ Calhoon said, adding that City Park hosts the CSU club baseball team. â€œIt also has ice skating in the winter on Sheldon Lake when the weather permits and itâ€™s close to City Park Nine Golf Course.â€
â€œItâ€™s a pretty busy place,â€ he added.
Junior and senior health and exercise science majors Bryson Russell and Hung Mai said they like to play pick up soccer games at City Park, adding that itâ€™s expansive and really close to campus.
â€œItâ€™s a huge space and it has that big lake,â€ Mai said.
â€œItâ€™s a beautiful park,â€ Russell added, mentioning its cottonwood trees. â€œAnd with the fireworks for the fourth (of July), the concerts and the fairs, thereâ€™s always something going on.â€
According to Calhoon, the Fort Collins parks department works hard to keep City Park one of the cityâ€™s best.
â€œWe try to be on the leading edge when it comes to making sure weâ€™re staying current with the best management practices in our parks,â€ he said.
City Park â€“ along with all of the cityâ€™s other community parks â€“ is a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, meaning it is sponsored by Audubon International, a group dedicated to preserving and enhancing wildlife habitat while protecting natural resources.
News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at email@example.com.