Palmer Park Parking Lot
On the 3rd of July, the Yucca Flats Park Lot in Palmer Park was full of cars. Then the park closed on the 4th of July. When users returned to their favorite spot on July 5th for a run or to take their dogs to the off-leash dog area, they were surprised to find the parking lot had nearly doubled in size! Ranger Nathan Hook (City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services) is the assigned lead Ranger for Palmer Park. Ranger Hook told TOSC that “…since the park is usually closed on the 4th of July, I usually think of a project I can do that won’t interfere with the public or the crew.” He had the idea for the parking lot expansion for a few months but wanted to keep it a surprise. Leading up to the project, he started placing large boulders near the parking lot. When users asked him what was going on with the boulders, he told them he was just replacing boulders that were eroded in an effort to maintain his surprise. When the 4th of July came, time was short to get the project done, so Ranger Mark Tatro (Ute Valley Park) and Mike Culinane (Senior Equipment Operator) stepped in to help Ranger Hook get the job done. The next day, Ranger Hook said, “(the) look on people’s faces on the 5th when the park reopened said it all! That’s all I needed.” This project was needed to keep people from parking along the road. People were creating a hazard for emergency vehicles. The parking lot can now accommodate about 35 cars.