Planning the Future of Victor’s Parks

By Beth Dodd

The City of Victor is creating the town’s first Parks & Recreation Master Plan, and wants input from community residents. The town currently has five park and open space properties, but no plan to manage them or map out their future. A citizen advisory board is changing this. The new Master Plan will combine community workshops with an inventory assessment to plan improvements to parks and trails. Goals will be identified and a road map for achieving them will be created.

Photo by Becky Parham OSM/VISTA

The City expects the Parks and Recreation Master Plan to help them understand community needs and desires, prioritize spending and staffing, and prepare for capital improvements. Each of the city’s recreation spaces will be individually addressed. The new Master Plan is being created by the Victor Parks and Recreation Master Plan Advisory Committee, a citizen group which consists of Joe Wilkerson, Shawn Frizzell, Gary Horton, Connie Dodrill, Mike Wallace, Mark Perdew, and Brian Hayes. The committee is being advised by consultants Walker Christensen and Matt Norcross of DHM Design, as well as Gabe Preston of RPI Consulting.

The City of Victor is represented by Deb Downs and Sandy Honeycutt. Their first meeting was held on January 10, 2012. A general discussion confirmed the need to create short and long term goals for recreation in Victor. The group expressed interest in finding ways that Cripple Creek and Victor can work together to offer recreation opportunities, using parks to attract visitors to town, better serving the community’s youth, and perhaps applying for GOCO grant money in the coming year. The committee also discussed what elements of Victor’s parks and recreation system they like and want to build upon. The community’s small town mountain character, history, hiking trails, free ice skating rink, and community support for recreation were all identified as assets. It was important to everyone that the plan should allow the city to stay within its means and focus on achievable improvements in the short run, while setting the stage for more ambitious projects in the future.

Some ideas for possible improvements brainstormed in the meeting included a building a full-sized soccer field, picnic shelters, bike racks downtown, a bike path to connect Victor and Cripple Creek, historic tours, a summer skate park in the ice rink, and improvements to the kid’s playground and the community garden. The committee also discussed the possibility of expanding the trail system to provide easier access to natural and historical resources from downtown, evaluating existing parks for ADA accessibility, and marketing Victor as an outdoor recreation destination. Break-out groups at the January 10 meeting identified the practical needs of specific sites around town, from minor to major. For example, the children’s playground at Washington Park needs newer, safer playground equipment with safety surfacing under it. Other safety concerns at Washington Park include the slope at the east edge of the basketball court and stabilization of the retaining wall at 2nd Street. Beauty and comfort are also valued by park users. Benches, shade, a drinking fountain, picnic tables, and a new fence might make good additions. The City of Victor would like input from its citizens about which of its present recreation facilities they use the most, how they can be improved, and what new programs or facilities they might want to see. They also want to know if residents are willing to fund a city employee to maintain its recreation facilities. An online survey for Victor residents can be found at Volunteers wishing to support the planning process are welcome.