AURORA | Residents of Aurora’s Village East will soon be able to enjoy Canterbury Park again, as the neighborhood green spot near Havana Street reopens after months of renovations.
The redesigned park includes hard- and soft-surface walkways and a 0.3-mile looped walking path with benches to make it accessible to more residents — prior to the renovation work, which was completed between fall of last year and spring of this year, there were no internal walkways at the west Aurora park.
Also included in the scope of work were a new playground with shade sails, a solar security light, converting turf to native grasses and upgrading the irrigation system and drainage system with the help of Aurora Water.
The renovations are the first to take place at the park since it was first developed in the early 1970s, city spokesman Michael Brannen said.
He said the accessibility improvements at the park came as the city’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department prepares to do community outreach as part of a master planning process, where “it is one of the objectives to talk about equitable access not just physically but through communication, language and cultural equity.”
“Accessibility is a key requirement in all proposed plans and designs for new projects and renovations of existing parks, trails and open spaces,” Brannen said.
Following an invitation-only reopening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 8, the park will again be open to the neighborhood that it has served for more than 45 years.
He said a subconsultant is also preparing a report for the city based on site tours, national standards and best practices, which will include recommendations for the city to enhance accessibility, inclusivity and equity at city parks.
The work at Canterbury cost $1,553,000, funded through an Arapahoe County Open Space grant, Arapahoe County Open Tax Shareback, Colorado Lottery, the Park Development Fund and contributions from Aurora Water.
Thank you Aurora, for this upgrade. I look forward, this week, to take my grandkids to the park where my two children played almost daily as we lived, then, in Village East a short block away.
Parks are nice, especially for families, but in this day and age, was the expenditure appropriate? Couldn’t that money have been better spent on schools, public safety, infrastructure, etc.? What was wrong with the park as it was? The time will come very soon when parks will be considered luxuries, along with libraries. I know that’s sad, but the City and its citizens have only so-much money. People have the notion that there is enough money for everything they want, but it doesn’t work that way. And our city is great at wasting money. I know most of this came from lottery funds, but still, that money could have been directed elsewhere and it still comes from the citizens, whether directly from taxes or through programs such as gambling and marijuana.
Let me be the first to personally thank you, Joe, for your contribution for the rebuild of Canterbury Park. It will be appreciated by many Aurora families.
I see your caring for the budget. It serves as part of the Aurora Flood Control system as it’s main original intent then comes the families having fun.
While I understand where you are coming from, there’s never enough money for all the things we could ever want/need. I lived a block away from this park for the first 16 years of my life and spent a lot of time there and it meant a lot to me in my wonderful youth. In a world filled with stress and disagreement and hatefulness and violence, isn’t money spent to give some small luxury and happiness to families money well spent? Especially when the money comes from luxury items such as the lottery? Do you spend money on your house, money to make it look and feel nice and be safe and accessible? Is that a waste? I just don’t agree that this was a waste, and to each their own, but it does get aggravating when people continue to take a really nice thing and overshadow it with negativity.
Great, when is Aurora going to do something about the massive ant infestation that’s taking over all of the trails, sidewalks, front and back yards, and… you guessed it – even Canterbury Park which just opened yesterday and is already covered in ant tunnels?