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Woodmen Hills dedicates new park

Woodmen Hills residents, board members and county officials gathered July 18 at the Woodmen Hills West Recreation Center for hot dogs, cake and a ribbon cutting ceremony for playground equipment at West Side Park.Jan Pizzi welcomed the community members and thanked the Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District Board, maintenance crews and the parks and recreation committee for their roles in the realization of the park.She also thanked Bishop Bruce Dwelle and youth from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for installing a split-rail fence around the perimeter of the park.The Woodmen Hills Parks and Recreation committee secured funding for the playground through grants from the El Paso County Urban Park Grant and the Conservation Trust Fund.Located on the corner of Meridian Road and Woodmen Hills Drive, the play structure features a tunnel slide, a wobbly bridge, a climbing apparatus and a tic-tac-toe board. The structure is designed for children ages 5 and older. New trees and two park benches were added to the surrounding area as part of the project.Pizzi said this park is the first of three improvements to Woodmen Hills’ parks. “We sent out a survey last year and the top request from residents was for more playground equipment,” she said. Additional equipment will be installed at Woodmen Hills’ Balco and Horseshoe parks by mid-August, Pizzi added.Amy Lathen, El Paso County commissioner, participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony. Lathen said she enjoys seeing grant funds put to good use in El Paso County. The Urban Parks Foundation is funded through the state, but without the county municipality, communities such as Woodmen Hills would not be able to access the funds, Lathen said.The parks and recreation committee is committed to creating a strong sense of community, Pizzi said. “We are going to apply for more grants to build a tennis court and a skateboard park,” she said. Pizzi said she estimates the committee will need $100,000 in grants to complete both projects. The tennis court will be built at the Woodmen Hills East Recreation Center, and the committee is still looking for a location for the skateboard park.

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