Mar 212012
 
Authors: Erin Udell

City Park’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 city’s best park in the 2011 “Best of CSU” survey.

The award – and City Park’s first ever first-place win in the survey – comes just in time for the park’s 100th birthday. The city has been celebrating the park, which it called, on its official website, a location that is “closely tied to the economic and social history of Fort Collins,” all year through events, celebrations and special activities.

For Mike Calhoon, the city’s parks supervisor, City Park is not only the oldest park in Fort Collins, it’s also an epicenter for community events as well as outdoor and indoor activities.

“It 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,” Calhoon said, adding that City Park hosts the CSU club baseball team. “It also has ice skating in the winter on Sheldon Lake when the weather permits and it’s close to City Park Nine Golf Course.”

“It’s a pretty busy place,” 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 it’s expansive and really close to campus.

“It’s a huge space and it has that big lake,” Mai said.

“It’s a beautiful park,” Russell added, mentioning its cottonwood trees. “And with the fireworks for the fourth (of July), the concerts and the fairs, there’s always something going on.”

According to Calhoon, the Fort Collins parks department works hard to keep City Park one of the city’s best.

“We try to be on the leading edge when it comes to making sure we’re staying current with the best management practices in our parks,” he said.

City Park – along with all of the city’s other community parks – 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 news@collegian.com.

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