July is Parks and Recreation Month!

Ah, July…that sweet and sweltering mid-summer month of blue skies and fleecy clouds. Of long evenings and soft river breezes, or gathering thunderheads with rapturous releases.

Often the perfect month to spend long stretches of time outdoors, Congress designated July to be National Parks and Recreation Month. This year, as in years past, the Salida City Council has confirmed this proclamation and recognized the importance of our city parks and public recreation.

As you spend time in public spaces this month, pushing your child on the swings or dancing to music, exercising or relaxing, think back to a time when summers meant freedom. Vacation from school and responsibility. Think back to the trees climbed, the hiding spots found, and secrets whispered. To sleepovers and campouts with friends….

Now this is the right frame of mind to appreciate public recreation! We at Salida Recreation hope to recreate those experiences with our programming and playspaces, for kids and adults alike. Through participation in organized events or simply by relaxing in a park, we hope to bring a calm yet vital energy back into your life.

To celebrate the month of July and it’s official designation as Parks and Recreation Month, Salida Rec will be hosting 2 free ice cream socials. These ice cream socials are meant to bring the community together in our public spaces. And what better way to lure people to the park than banana splits?

The first social will be held on Wednesday, July 9, from 6 – 7 pm at Chisholm Park. Also known as “Secret Park,” Chisholm was recently revitalized after a fire destroyed the old Chisholm house in 2011. In it’s place, a beautiful indoor and outdoor pavilion stands today. With picnic tables and a BBQ, plus an indoor warming kitchen and bathrooms, Chisholm Park is now the perfect place to host family gatherings and parties.

Rec department staff and volunteers will be serving up ice cream, bananas, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, fun and games! Chisholm Park is located at 324 Hunt Street, between Maxwell and Chilcott Streets.

The second ice cream social will be held on Wednesday, July 23, also 6 – 7 pm, at Alpine Park. Alpine needs no introduction—near the heart of downtown, this park already serves as a community center. Host to the weekly Farmers Market, home to basketball courts (which double as bike-riding practice courts), grassy fields and one of Salida’s newer playgrounds, Alpine sees lots of action!

We invite you to join the fun. Please join us to affirm and celebrate what we hold most important to our hearts—community, outdoors, recreation, and ice cream!

The City of Salida continues to work on its parks master plan. With help from students of the University of Colorado, Denver’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, plans are being developed to systematically replace and improve playgrounds, parks and the Scout Hut.

Funding for these improvements will come from Conservation Trust Funds, an annual allotment given to the City of Salida from state lottery revenue. Other funding sources are being explored—various grants exist to help communities expand public spaces.

Please visit the Aquatic Center to view the “proto-plans.” Nothing is set in stone yet, so please direct any comments, feedback or hopes for these projects to

salida.recreation@cityofsalida.com, or call (719) 539-5703.