January 2022 Happenings

TWO NEW ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS were officially opened in Wheat Ridge this month, one at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, 4005 Kipling St., and the other at Wheat Ridge City Hall, 7500 W. 29th Ave. PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF WHEAT RIDGE

Two New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open In Wheat Ridge

As the Neighborhood Gazette went to press, the City of Wheat Ridge was set to cut the ribbon on two new electric vehicle charging stations at noon on Jan. 12, according to a recent press release.

The SemaConnect Model 630 Level 2 dual-port electric vehicle charging stations are located at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, 4005 Kipling St., and at Wheat Ridge City Hall, 7500 W. 29th Ave. 

Motorists will pay $1 per hour for use of the stations.

The purchase and installation of the stations were funded through two Charge Ahead Colorado grants. The city received an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure grant from Xcel Energy in 2020 to cover the costs associated with the electrical infrastructure upgrades necessary for electric vehicle charging.

Wheat Ridge Historical Society Invites Public To Tuesday Night Talks, Valentine’s Day Second Saturday Social

The new year means new beginnings, and the Wheat Ridge Historical Society is no different. This year we’re introducing a new way for people interested in history and current events to become more involved. We’re opening participation in the programs we enjoy after board meetings to all members, as well as history buffs in the general public (in hopes that those folks will become members, of course). The next Tuesday Night Talk is scheduled for Feb. 8 at 7:45 p.m., with a speaker to be announced. Those interested should email the society at wrhistorical@gmail.com for a link to the meeting.

Valentine’s Day is the theme of the next Second Saturday Social, Feb. 12,from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Baugh House, located at West 44th Avenue and Robb Street. Join us and craft handmade Valentine messages for your loved ones while enjoying live music, treats and good conversation.

The Historical Park museums are open Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We are happy to accommodate your needs and glad to make appointments for tours on other days; just email or call us at the contact information listed below. We’ll be glad to show you the wonderful progress we’re making on our re-imagination project, the Century-long Story. Currently, we’re sprucing up the Johnson Cabin to illustrate the decade from 1859 to 1869, a period when goods from back east arrived solely via horseback and wagons. The Soddy is temporarily closed for repairs, but the other museums in the park are open for tours.

January is membership month, a time for all members to renew annual memberships. Current members will receive new membership cards.

For more information go to our website at wheatridgehistoricalsociety.org, email us at wrhistorical@gmail.com, call 303-421-9111, or stop by the Red Brick House Fridays at 4610 Robb St. Be sure to follow us on Facebook.

Panorama Park To Get New Outdoor Fitness Court This Year 

The Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation Department has received approval from city council for $187,402 from the City’s American Rescue Plan allocation to install a new outdoor fitness court at Panorama Park in early 2022.

“The install date is likely spring, as we have to have consistent warm weather to pour the concrete,” according to City of Wheat Ridge Public Information Officer/Communications Manager Sara Spaulding.

The city initially received a $30,000 grant from the National Fitness Campaign (NFC) and Colorado Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) to fund the creation of this new outdoor facility for the community. 

The fitness court from the NFC is installed on a 38- by 38-foot concrete slab with sport tile flooring. The court includes seven body-weight exercise stations focusing on core, squat, push, pull, lunge, agility and bending movements. Each station is approximately six feet apart. The court can be used year-round. There are instructions for exercises included with the court, as well as access to a free phone application where more workouts can be viewed.

A similar fitness court is located outside of Lakewood’s Green Mountain Recreation Center.

“We are thrilled to bring this unique fitness element to the Wheat Ridge community”, stated Karen O’Donnell director of Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation. “It is important to invest in opportunities that create safe, active, and engaging spaces for individuals of all ages.”

In a recent press release, the city said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, access to private gyms and Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation facilities was limited for public safety, and that this new court will provide an additional, outdoor option that will be free for residents to exercise. Panorama Park was specifically identified as an ideal location because it is in a different geographic area of the city from the other public fitness options (Recreation Center, Anderson Building and Active Adult Center), it is in an area of Wheat Ridge with higher population density and lower median incomes, and it is near traffic routes including 32nd Avenue, 35th Avenue, Harlan Street, and Sheridan Boulevard.

The mission of NFC is to “design healthy infrastructure for cities to improve the quality of life for people.” They partner with cities, schools, and state agencies to install fitness courts that are free to the public. CPRA is the statewide industry association for parks and recreation.

The total cost to purchase and install the fitness court is $217,402. At the Nov. 22, 2021 meeting, council passed a resolution to amend the 2021 General Fund budget, in the amount of $187,402, to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to fund the remainder of the project.

Lakewood Arts Gallery To Move, But Gallery Shows And Art Sales Continue

The date isn’t final, but this spring, Lakewood Arts Gallery, 6731 W. Colfax Ave. (currently next to Casa Bonita), will be moving to 6501 W. Colfax Ave., in Lamar Plaza (just across the parking lot between Key Bank and Burger King). 

Until then, Lakewood Arts Council wants all to know that the gallery will remain open for business virtually while they are in the process of relocating, even if they have to close their physical location while preparing the new gallery to open for customers.

Through January, in honor of the National Western Stock Show, the gallery will be displaying artworks that reflect the traditions, people and animals involved in Colorado’s annual stock show in an exhibit titled, “Laughing Stock.” 

In February, the gallery will host its New and Gently Used Art Supply Sale, and on the President’s Wall will be artwork from Karen Whittier.

Normal gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

Call 303-980-0625, email lac@lakewoodarts.org or go to lakewoodarts.org for more information. 

Wheat Ridge Launches W. 44th Ave. Subarea Planning Process With Feb. 23 Public Meeting

The City of Wheat Ridge has hired a planning consultant, MIG. Inc, to assist with the West 44th Avenue Subarea Plan, according to a recent press release from the city.

The plan will focus on West 44th Avenue from Youngfield Street to Clear Creek near Field Street; it includes the portion of the city between Clear Creek and I-70. A public meeting is set for Feb. 23, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, 4005 Kipling St. 

“The western end of 44th Avenue is not simply a transportation corridor; it is also a primary connector to many key assets in the community including the Wheat Ridge Ward Commuter Rail Station, the Clear Creek Trail, the Applewood Shopping Center, the new Clear Creek Crossing development, and numerous adjacent residential neighborhoods in between,” said Wheat Ridge City Manager Patrick Goff in a recent press release. “Community members who provided input through the recently updated Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy and the ongoing Let’s Talk Resident Engagement program made it clear that they want to see improvements made to the aesthetics of West 44th as one of the city’s primary corridors.”   

West 44th Avenue has a mix of conditions that create a unique context for future planning and redevelopment. Although the sidewalks, curbs, pavement, and lighting in the public rights of way are in fairly good condition, there is inconsistency in private property investment and maintenance. The city has taken some important steps, such as updating the Streetscape Design Manual, to require trees along the street, among other improvements, to enhance the overall user experience along the corridor which will be a key part of this subarea plan. 

The subarea planning process will help to establish a long-range vision and guiding principles for the West 44th Avenue corridor and will guide future development decisions. The plan will include an assessment of land use, transportation circulation, neighborhood connections, and redevelopment standards to ensure they are appropriate for the corridor. The subarea plan will focus on revitalization and reinvestment in the West 44th Avenue corridor, including businesses, neighborhoods, key economic drivers, and community assets. The goal is to create a vision and redevelopment strategy for improvements to the West 44th Avenue corridor and identify priority actions that will help achieve the vision and visibly improve the community.

More information can be found at whatsupwheatridge.com/44th-avenue.

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