Many of the children playing at DeLong Park on June 7 weren’t born yet when Golden first bought the property in 2017.
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Thankfully for those children and their peers, Golden is very good at planning for the future and executing its plans, Mayor Laura Weinberg said.
On June 7, about 80 city officials and residents attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for DeLong Park at 395 23rd St. The park has been in the planning, design and construction process for years, and opened to the public in late May.
“It turned out really fabulous,” Weinberg said.
Stacey Zander and her two kids were super excited to have a park in their neighborhood, as the family has been there almost every day since it opened.
And that’s exactly what Rod Tarullo and his colleagues were hoping for.
Tarullo, the city’s parks and recreation director, and the parks board members explained how city officials realized years ago there was a major lack of parks in the 23rd Street neighborhood.
So, Golden bought the 1-acre residential property from the DeLong family in 2017 with the long-term plan of turning it into a park. After community input helped determine which features to include, Tarullo described how construction started in summer 2021 but was delayed by supply chain issues.
Finished at last, DeLong Park’s playground includes a jungle gym, slide, swing set, climbing feature, and merry-go-round. The rest of the park features a shelter, trail access, a pollinator garden, a water fountain/dog-watering station and a pesticide-free lawn.
Moreover, DeLong Park is entirely organic and will be the city’s pilot project for launching other all-organic parks.
As volunteer Cathy Stamp explained, DeLong Park won’t have any synthetic chemicals in its maintenance routine. That means no pesticides, so Stamp and other volunteers are stepping up to serve as “weedbusters” for the new park. It will require a lot of manual labor, but Stamp and others believe it’s worthwhile to ensure children can play in the grass without “bringing toxins home.”
The weed-busting volunteers will be meeting from 8-10 a.m. every Thursday, and anyone is welcome to join.
Zander and her two youngsters were enjoying the new park during and after the June 7 ribbon-cutting ceremony. The children said they really liked the merry-go-round, while Zander said she appreciated the mix of older trees, new grass and wild plants. She also appreciated the all-organic approach, saying, “It’s the way that all parks should be.”
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