Since Durango was founded in 1881, it’s seen drastic infrastructural improvements leading to it being one of the best places to live in southwest Colorado. Its dramatic landscape offers amazing views and provides a plethora of outdoor activities for a wide variety of interests. This outdoorsy melting pot is one of the primary reasons Durango has grown to be such a memorable destination. In recent years, the City of Durango has been working on some developmental changes to our parks and transportation landscape. Let’s dive into some of the improvements that have either already taken place, or are currently being developed.
32nd Street Animas River Crossing
Development of a new 170ft bridge crossing overarching the animas river off 32nd Street is currently being finished. The bridge will allow for a safer path for side traffic by connecting part of the animas river trail. This development is accompanied with construction for two new river access points on each side of the bridge. These will help decongest the overcrowding at the current 32nd put-in allowing for more access for river recreation and rafting companies.
Affordable Housing Initiatives
North Downtown Affordable Housing District (Urban Renewal Authority) / 1% La Plata Impact by Local First Foundation
The North Downtown Affordable Housing District (URA) housing plan aims to create more affordable multi-housing units in a 50 acre stretch towards the north end of downtown through subsidizing housing developments. Through redevelopment they plan to increase property values which could yield an estimated $35 million towards financing. The city plans to finance between 100-500 new units of attainable housing over a 25 year period. Along with the 1% La Plata Impact Fund created by the Local First Foundation aims to give back to the community through raising funds through the local economy. Business’s that partner with this initiative agree to donate 1% of their gross revenue to help mitigate our communities most pressing issues. They have recently supported the West Side Mobile Home Park by giving $535,000 to help owners gain more ownership over their land. Local First also has a role in the downtown redevelopment concept which will be presented to the city council on May 17, 2022. Durango’s housing market has created a bubble that only affluent buyers can manage. This has inevitably increased rental prices and pushed out the lower to middle class. Durango is heavily based in the tourism industry which makes it crucial to support the class of workers that support our service based economy.
Oxbow Park & Reserve
This 44 acre plot has recently been developed into a park providing river access along with a trail system that winds through a nature preserve. This project came to fruition with its grand opening on October 27, 2020. Oxbow park has since then grown into a recreational hotspot located just north of town on 36th street. This project also entailed extending the Animas River Trail to increase its accessibility. Though its development has seen controversy, it’s proven to be a great spot for both locals and tourists.
New Pickleball Courts at Smith
How is pickleball played? Do they use kosher pickles? How do you score? These are some common questions you might hear from someone who has no idea what pickleball is. Luckily the Durango Parks and Recreation Department is proposing to develop a new pickleball court at Smith Sports Complex at Fort Lewis College. Design ideas are still being voted on though construction is planned to commence in Fall of 2022 with an aim to finish construction in spring 2023. A public process will begin with an open house on Tuesday, April 26th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Durango Community Recreation Center. According to USA Pickleball the sport has seen an 11.5% average annual growth rate over the past 5 years. This makes pickleball one of the fastest growing sports in America! Durango is truly embracing this sports evolution by making efforts to provide courts for the community. So whether you like pickleball, or don’t know what it is yet, Durango will soon have courts to play. Dill with it!
Santa Rita Park Updates
From what used to be the smelliest park in town due to the Santa Rita Water Reclamation Facility (SRWRF). Has recently been revamped into one of the best parks in Durango for a beautiful day by the river. Not only has the SRWRF been redeveloped but also the parks recreational amenities have seen great improvements throughout 2021. This includes new volleyball courts, basketball court, along with additional parking to accommodate for its inevitable increase in popularity.
At Roll our purpose is to put a smile on your face, deepen human connection through experienced based travel, and be a company that benefits the planet.
Roll is part of a growing movement of purpose-driven sustainable businesses in Durango that are carving a new path toward a life sustaining economy. As a sustainable business, we offset our carbon footprint through the Four Corners Carbon Fund and partner with Shaw Solar to power our ebikes and office at the Smiley Building, American Sustainable Business Council, Green Business Roundtable, Durango Farmers Market, and Local First.