Arapahoe County Fairgrounds Park | Nature Play!

Aurora, Colorado

Project Background

Arapahoe County commissioned Design Concepts to update their Fairgrounds Master Plan and incorporate a park into the facility. There had been an increased public interest in returning to a heritage way of life. Events such as farmers' markets, home goods and crafts fairs, gardening, and urban homesteading have been occurring more frequently in our environment. We believed there would be particular public interest in a facility that blended the worlds of suburban parks and fairground activities. Where the two worlds meet, modern life and nature play. The County was on board with bringing kids back to nature, and this was the site to accomplish it. 

We met with the County Commissioners, Open Spaces Department, and Fairgrounds advisory committees, took tours of nearby historic sites and preserved natural areas, and created a Fairground/Park site that is the first of its kind.

The Fairground aspect of this site included all the facilities needed for major fair events: rodeo and riding arenas, exhibition spaces, a midway, RV and trailer accommodations, and flexible events buildings. The park included a ten-acre natural play area with an active stream serving as an adventure playground. The stream is fed by an aquifer which is pumped to the surface; it is used as a play area and aesthetic element, and also provides for the site's irrigation needs. The site is primarily covered in native grasses, but  includes some turf grass for the heavier demand events brought by the fair.

From The Field - Construction Journal