Sometimes The Best Ideas Come From Our Children

Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker
Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker

With warmer weather finally seeing some traction against colder temps and snow, many of our youngest residents start looking forward to getting outside to enjoy all our parks, trails, open space and wonderful playgrounds. This year, the City of Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation department has exciting improvement projects planned for Apel-Bacher, Creekside and Panorama parks, a community garden proposed for Randall Park, and new pickleball courts at Prospect Park.

The department plans to replace the playgrounds at both Apel-Bacher and Creekside parks and is seeking resident feedback. Quick, five-question surveys are available for both Apel-Bacher Park ( and Creekside Park ( Since kids are the most frequent users of our playgrounds, parents are encouraged to ask their children to help fill out those surveys. While some of us may still be young at heart and enjoy the occasional swing, other equipment is specifically designed for the size of our younger residents and visitors. Those surveys will help in designing those parks with young users in mind. 

A fitness court will be installed at Panorama Park this summer. The court will have scheduled group fitness classes and orientations staffed by certified fitness instructors and will be open for public use during all other park hours. Created with adults of all ages in mind, the seven-station fitness court is adaptable for all fitness levels. New users can also download the free Fitness Court App that transforms this outdoor gym into a digitally supported wellness ecosystem.

The city recently acquired property at 4100 Gray St. to expand Randall Park so it is bounded by West 43rd Avenue, Fenton Street, West 41st Avenue, and Gray Street. Based on resident requests, the size of the space, and existing park amenities, there is a proposal to create a second community garden in this new area. The Parks and Recreation department is also requesting public feedback on this proposal as well. This survey is more focused on grownups and your opinions to create another community space like Happiness Garden. To take the Randall Park survey go to:

Finally, for those of you peering through the fences at Prospect Park, we know you can’t wait for this project to be completed because it will include the pickleball courts. The Prospect Park Phase 2 project broke ground in November 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by September 2022. Concrete was recently poured for the six new pickleball courts and the improved entry road. Stay tuned for updates in the Mayor’s Matters enewsletter and subscribe here or check the website. 

We are so fortunate to live in Wheat Ridge with all that our city has to offer: our beautiful bike and walking trails adjacent to Clear Creek, the 23 local parks, ballfields, playgrounds, and open-air venues for events like Performances in the Park. My wife Mary and I are looking forward to getting outside and enjoying our beautiful city. Hope to see you out there!

Contact Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker at or 303-235-2800.

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