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The city is building a new play area in Acacia Park that will draw on the colors and artistry of the Uncle Wilber Fountain. 

The city of Colorado Springs started tearing down the playground in Acacia Park Monday, ahead of the construction of a new play area that will feature an artistic climbing wall. 

The $900,000 construction project will replace the playground equipment from the 1980s with an area for toddlers that will feature a slide and a spinner, and draw on the colors of the Uncle Wilbur Fountain. A climbing structure, reminiscent of obstacles featured on American Ninja Warrior, with netting and a slide will also be put up, renderings show. 

"This will be someplace that's really spectacular," said Karen Palus, parks, recreation and cultural services director. 

As part of the project, the depression where the current playground is located will be filled in and new landscaping around the site will be added, she said. 

Most of the project, $600,000, will be covered by city revenues retained with voter approval in 2019. The taxes were collected in excess of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights cap and would have been refunded, if not for the election. The El Pomar Foundation donated $300,000 to the project.


The city of Colorado Springs started tearing down the playground in Acacia Park on Monday ahead of a $900,000 construction project to replace it. 

The improvements are needed to help serve a downtown residential population that is set to explode with the addition of thousands of new apartments.

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Palus said she expects as more people spend time in the park, such as using playground equipment, the activity will encourage other people who are not there for the park experience, such as homeless residents, to leave. 

The city expects to keep improving downtown parks in the coming years as funding allows. For example, the city expects to add a dog park at Antlers Park, adjacent to the Antlers hotel, she said. 

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The city of Colorado Springs is building a new play area in Acacia Park that will feature a structure reminiscent of those seen on American Ninja Warrior. 

The improvements will be based on approved master plans that propose big changes for the parks, including an ice arena in Acacia Park that could be converted to a game lawn in the summer time. 

In Antlers, the city envisions a "green wall" with vegetation to help screen the parking garage on its eastern edge and space for events. 

In Alamo Park, the grounds of the Pioneers Museum, the city has already restored a historic gazebo and is planning for a new paved labyrinth, according to the approved master plan.   

Contact the writer at or (719) 429-9264.

Mary Shinn has worked at The Gazette since 2020 covering city hall, local politics and environmental issues. Previously, she worked for The Durango Herald from 2013 to 2020 covering city hall, education, environment and agriculture. In 2013, Shinn was a News 21 fellow and worked on an investigative series focused on veteran's issues.