The emerald green Bond Park in downtown Estes Park has undergone a transformation. I stopped by the park a couple days ago to take pictures and my friend, Kathleen Kase, from the Library walked past and said hello.“I love the new flower plantings and brick pavers,” Kathleen observed. “It’s nice to sit here at a picnic table and eat my lunch.”The Town Hall, Post Office and Library once populated Bond Park. When I moved to Estes Park 31 years ago, the old library was all that remained, an old building with a Hobbit door huddled under a dying Russian Elm tree. Every summer the Woman’s Club held the Used Book and Bake Sale in the park to support the library, but afternoon rain showers often chased folks away early. After we built the new library next to Town Hall in 1991, I watched a bulldozer knock down the old library.Since then, Bond Park has been a green expanse that hosted a long list of festivals and events throughout the summer. For instance, every fall Sunrise Rotary’s Autumn Gold Festival brought thousands of people into the Park to listen to bands, eat bratwursts and drink beer. Our grills and sound system often overloaded the electrical system and tripped the breakers. When we cleaned up after the festival, I noticed that the grass took a terrible beating from the intense foot traffic, leaving brown, muddy patches and puddles in the poorly-drained, once-green grass.Now the Town has reseeded the grass and installed brick pavers that reminded me of the old brick streets in Davenport, Iowa. Colorful flowers and freshly-planted trees line the handsome sidewalk. The Town reconfigured MacGregor Avenue into a one-way that can be blocked off during festivals, allowing vendors to put up their tents on the pavers rather than the grass. Also, the Town strengthened Bond Park’s infrastructure, improving electrical, irrigation, drainage and lighting systems. In fact, one night I drove past Bond Park and noticed the lights recessed under the boulders offering a warm, welcoming glow. Nice touch Estes Park. Bond Park is now so much more than a patch of green grass.
Read more about Rocky