MONTROSE – Montrose City and the Montrose Recreation District announced Tuesday that their joint project for improvements to Baldridge Park, including the creation of a new River Sports Park, has been approved for funding by Great Outdoors Colorado, the state lottery money designated to support outdoor recreation.
The application was one of just eight selected out of 51 proposals received by GOCO during its spring grant cycle. The GOCO grant is for $259,384.
“We would have absolutely not received this funding if all three GOCO-eligible agencies in Montrose (Montrose Recreation District, the City, and the County), did not come together like they did,” said MRD Executive Director Ken Sherbenou in a press release. “We are very grateful for the partnerships that made this effort successful.”
City Manager Bill Bell commented on the need for even more intergovernmental cooperation. “Montrose taxpayers have asked us all to work together in a creative fashion to make things happen here in our community,” he said. “This successful venture is a great example of that spirit of collaboration working out for the best. It will benefit not only the residents and visitors of today, but it also creates a recreational and tourist attraction that will be used by thousands over the next decade.”
A significant cash match will be provided by all three Montrose entities. The project also has the support and involvement of other key partners: the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Montrose Recreation Foundation, LiveWell Montrose-Olathe, Friends of the River Uncompahgre, Welcome Home Montrose and the Montrose Community Foundation.
Improvements will include the Montrose Water Sports Park, a whitewater park on the Uncompahgre River through Baldridge Park that will support kayaking, tubing, swimming and spectating. Also, nearly 2,000 feet of concrete trail, 1,900 feet of soft-surface trail and signage will be installed along the river. Montrose citizens chose a whitewater park and river trails as their highest priority projects during the Uncompahgre Riverway Master Plan process.
“The City of Montrose is excited about being able to further implement concepts from the Uncompahgre Riverway Master Plan,” said Montrose Mayor Judy Ann Files. “The water sports park has been a dream of city staff and community members for several years. We are very appreciative of the GOCO board approving our request for funding.”