Town Parks Master Plan
The 2020 Town Parks Master Plan Update was completed from February through October of 2020. The process was conducted by the Town of Telluride Parks and Recreation Department and the Parks and Recreation Commission with the assistance of landscape architecture and land planning consultant Zehren and Associates, Inc. A comprehensive community engagement process with two (2) public open houses, a park-user questionnaire, stakeholder focus group meetings and broad-based community input via email and phone communication was conducted to help inform the direction and priorities of the plan. The planning process also included periodic worksessions, meetings, and field visits with the Town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, Open Space Commission, and Town Council, as well as regional partners.
The 2020 TPMPU builds upon the improvements accomplished from the 2005 Town Park Master Plan and recommends a series of new improvements for the parks that respond to present day trends and demands. These include recreation, events, and community uses that compete for time and use of park facilities. The 2020 TPMPU seeks to make improvements that promote multi-use of park space and balance community use for recreation and leisure, and for special events including festival and athletic tournaments. The TPMPU includes specific sections that address the Colorado Avenue pocket parks and the River Park Corridor. These are unique town-owned park areas and the 2020 TPMPU includes specific recommendations that address existing and futures uses, multi-use, safety, seasonal uses, and conflicts that may exist.
The TPMPU lays out an implementation framework with three (3) phases of implementation, broken down into 5-year time periods from 2021 to 2035.
Most of the improvements recommended in the first phase of implementation from 2021 to 2025 are geared toward community, recreation, park and leisure uses. The short-term emphasis on these uses is in direct response to the high demand and need expressed by the community during the stakeholder and public engagement process. In particular, the strong need for a dedicated space for youth expressed by the community during the planning process is addressed in the renovation of the Warming Hut as a temporary solution.
Throughout the plan, there is an emphasis on circulation, wayfinding, and safety improvements to park properties that facilitate and promote pedestrian and bicycle modes of circulation. There are also strategies to accommodate limited private vehicle access, drop off and pick up locations, and additional parking in Town Park, with recommendations to reduce traffic, congestion, and conflicts with park uses.
Special events and festival-related improvements are also included in the TPMPU. These are distributed across the three phases of implementation. The TPMPU addresses critical access, staging, and back of house operational and logistical considerations associated with special events. Given the role of festivals and special events as major economic drivers for the local and regional economy, improvements that address operational needs, efficiencies, and safety are recommended in this master plan, in balance with recommended park improvements that promote greater recreational and community use.
The TPMPU addresses the Town Park Campground, a vital area of the park that plays a very special role during major music festivals and as an overnight camping destination within the town limits and near the downtown commercial district. Based on increased demand for recreation and a desire for additional indoor recreation, the TPMPU builds in flexibility for recreational uses to expand into select areas of the Town Park Campground. The plan recommends additional studies and investigation be conducted in association with potential expansion of recreational facilities into the Campground and recommends preserving the Campground and expanding the primitive camping area if there is a loss of existing Campground area and sites.