COLORADO SPRINGS — After 5 years of waiting, over 1,000 people ventured out to Panorama Park located off East Fountain Boulevard and Jet Wing Drive for the grand reopening of the largest park renovation in city history.
The total cost for the renovation was $8.5 million after the city paid $5.5 million and the rest was provided by dozens of private and non-profit partners like El Paso County Public Health, RISE | Southeast Colorado Springs, and Trust for Public Land.
On Saturday, crowds gathered as city officials and partners spoke about their efforts through the years to reinvigorate the southeast community through this park.
Ashley Cornelius is the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate for the region. She was commissioned to create an original work for the reopening of the park.
"It felt amazing", Cornelius says. "So I grew up here in the Southeast so I remember what this park used to be. To be able to stand here, in this covered pavilion, to share my experiences in the community, it was beautiful."
Brit Haley is the Acting Director of the Parks Recreational and Cultural Services department with the city. She says this project has been a lot of hard work.
"We have the reopening of Panorama Park, which is a 13.5-acre park renovation, the biggest the city has ever done. It cost 8.5 million dollars, and we never could have done that without many many partners who brought in financial support and community partnerships," says Haley.
She says they tried to take an approach to remodel the park that's never been done before. "We reached out to the community and asked them, what do you want to see in the park, and we did that repeatedly," says Haley.
The park is meant to be a resource to help the under-served communities of Southeast Colorado Springs. But they hope this park will be the main attraction of the city that everyone can come to.
Jason Kiefer brought his two sons out to the park today. As Cordera residents, his family was hesitant to make a long drive.
"There are so many different things you can do, I'm just looking around right now, my kids have just been occupied. At first, they were like I don't want to go to a park so far away, and I'm like check it out."
Panorama Park is located at 4540 Fenton Road.
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