The Tres Colonias neighborhood in Fort Collins has the beet, literally. On September 28, 2019 at 10 a.m., City leaders will cut the ribbon for Sugar Beet Park, located at the intersection of E. Vine Dr. and 9th St. The public is welcome to join the celebration with local leaders and community members as they share their stories and welcome the new park to the community.
Sugar Beet Park joins the family of more than 40 neighborhood parks in the City of Fort Collins park system. The highlight of the park, an oversized sugar beet play structure, is inspired by a concept design from artist Mario Miguel Echevarria and is the first Earthscape play sculpture in Fort Collins. The beet was formerly on display at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery as the main attraction in Once Upon a Playground, an exhibit showcasing playgrounds throughout the ages. The beet has since been moved from the museum to the grounds of the 5.3-acre park. Other park features include a pollinator garden, a basketball court, a picnic pavilion, and a trellis with benches beneath that roll along railroad ties. The Sugar Beet Park Grand Opening is a time for the community to experience these features first-hand, tour the park with local design experts, and partake in the flavored ice dessert truck.
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“Sugar Beet Park is a great addition to the neighborhood park system,” says Kurt Friesen, director of Park Planning and Development with the City of Fort Collins. “The design of the park features was inspired by the sugar beet industry in Fort Collins, a significant economic contributor in the history of our city.”
Sugar Beet Park also showcases interpretive signage along meandering pathways, allowing visitors to learn more about the park features and how they represent the history of the Tres Colonias neighborhoods.
In the early 1900s, the “Beet Boom” overtook Colorado when farmers from Russia, Germany, and Mexico flocked to the state to stake their claim on the lucrative sugar beet crop. Fort Collins was home to the Great Western Sugar Beet Factory where the City of Fort Collins Streets building stands today. Workers from the factory lived primarily in the Alta Vista, Buckingham, and Andersonville neighborhoods that surround Sugar Beet Park.
For more information about Sugar Beet Park, the history of beet farming in Colorado, and the opening ceremony, visit fcgov.com/parkplanning.