Gift Completes Funding for Whitewater and Kayak Features in Poudre River Downtown Park
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Fort Collins, CO – Jack and Ginger Graham have donated $1 million dollars to benefit the Poudre River Downtown Park.
The Graham’s philanthropic gift completes funding for the whitewater and kayak features – commonly referred to as “Reach 3” – of the Poudre River Downtown Park Master Plan. The Master Plan was approved by City Council in 2014. The Plan brings together three distinct river environs: natural areas, storm water management, and parks and recreation. It includes a whitewater and kayak park, trails, put-in and take-out points for kayakers and tubers, a children’s park, and a pedestrian and bike bridge to connect the north and south sides of the River to create new opportunities for local businesses in and north of downtown.
The Grahams are the owners and co-founders of Ginger and Baker; Jack Graham was Athletic Director at Colorado State University and the visionary behind the construction of the just-completed on-campus stadium.
“The Poudre River Whitewater Park demonstrates that conservation and preservation can successfully intersect with development and community recreation,” said Darin Atteberry, City Manager, City of Fort Collins. “A park along the Poudre River has been discussed for over 25 years, and will now become a reality thanks, in part, to the generosity of the Grahams.”
“The Poudre River holds a very special place in our City’s history. It has been in need of some TLC for decades and the environmental repairs and restoration of the River, coupled with the recreational features the Plan includes, will bring needed energy and economic development to the River District and Downtown Fort Collins. The Poudre River Park is going to be another great place for our community to come together,” said Jack Graham. “We were motivated to give now so that the work would begin in 2018. We hope other community members will contribute so that the entire project is completed and available for everyone to enjoy.”
“Reach 3 is the culmination of years of community passion and dedicated visionaries, and includes something for everyone,” said Ray Caraway, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. “The Graham’s extraordinarily generous gift ushers in an exciting future for the Poudre River as a centerpiece for our community.”
“The collective dedication of our residents is awe-inspiring.” said Atteberry. “The voters supported this project as part of the Community Capital Improvement Program (CCIP), and the Graham’s stepped up with a full and bold commitment to expand the river’s use to families, naturalists and our community.”
Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2018.