Revamping the Riverfront, the Buena Vista, Colorado Way

The following post comes courtesy of Global Site Plans' The Grid. CNU and Global Site Plans recently teamed up to syndicate Grid content, as its contingent of writers presents a view on the opportunities and issues of urbanization all across the world. CNU will carry select posts from the Grid direct on the CNU Salons.


 As more and more people aim to get out and get active, revamping public space is key. Parks and other planned open spaces for the public are becoming the hot spots for activity. While it is known that not all parks receive their fair-share of attention, Buena Vista Whitewater Park in Buena Vista, Colorado, once called the River Park, is a major attraction for the town. This isn’t your typical large field and a walking path park; BV Whitewater Park houses a multitude of activities and recreational opportunities.

The recently approved River Park Master Plan includes: camping space, performing arts stage, new and extended sports fields, picnic pavilion, dog park, pump track, community garden.

Bridge over the Arkansas River
BV Skatepark
Riverfront Park Pump Track
Buena Vista Riverfront Park via Whipple Trail
Arkansas River vis Buena Vista Riverfront Park

Since the previous set of upgrades a decade ago, the park has seen more use for a variety of activities. The main improvements in 2001, drawing rafters and kayakers from all around, were the numerous eddy and trail upgrades. Additional channels and features in the past five years engineered a class II-III whitewater park. Buena Vista‘s Whitewater Park may be one of the longest stretches for enthusiasts in Colorado at one and a half miles after taming down the sometimes-dangerous stretch of the Arkansas River.



The focus on outdoor recreation is Buena Vista, if not all of Colorado, is huge and growing. Even the town’s New Urbanist development, South Main, incorporated a riverfront park with connections to BV’s Whitewater Park. Residents and tourists alike are constantly using the three trails up Midland Mountain; hiking, biking, and leisurely walks are popular uses. The need to stay healthy and active is slowly taking over the American lifestyle; with the economic tough times, many gravitate towards public open space.

Are more people in your town using planned recreational space to a greater extent?

To read the original post, written by Katie Poppel, visit Global Site Plans.


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