Local leaders gather to celebrate Las Colonias River Park — The #GrandJunction Daily Sentinel

Las Colonias Park. Photo credit: The City of Grand Junction

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dan West):

With children and families out floating the Las Colonias River Park behind them, community leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of the park amenity and recognize the work it took, over more than 30 years, to clean up the area and turn it into the park it is today.

The River Park has been open since May of 2020, but the celebration had to be delayed, as most things were, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a year later leaders from the city of Grand Junction, Colorado Mesa University, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) and others came together Thursday afternoon to speak about the impact of the park.

Parks and Recreation Director Ken Sherbenou spoke about the history of the Las Colonias Park, which had previously been the site of a junkyard that was contaminated with uranium mill tailings. In the late 1980s, a group of citizens got together to clean the area up…

Throughout this project the community had support from GOCO, which helped with the original Watson Island cleanup with a grant in 1995 to the River Park itself, which used a $350,000 GOCO grant, as well as funding from the Colorado Water Conservation Fund, for its construction…

There were many partners that made Las Colonias and the River Park possible, Sherbenou said, which included a number of federal and state agencies, as well as local partners. He said going forward it will lead to more people becoming stewards of the Colorado River.

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