An Unordinary Process for Superior’s Wildflower Park

In Superior Colorado an engaged local community asked for a wide variety of park amenities to help enhance their quality of life

Gathering public input for a new park from the local community was an unordinary process. Wildflower Park was a multi-year planning project in this old, but new community.

Boom to Bust to Boom

Named after the “superior” quality of coal in the area, the Town of Superior was founded in 1896.  After 1945 when the mine closed and most residents moved away, the town evolved into a quiet ranching and farming community with a tiny population around 250 for decades.  Then, in the mid-1980’s, growth began again and commercial, retail and significant residential housing development has been ongoing since.  Today, the population is 12,857 according to the town’s own demographic profile.

Thorough, Comprehensive, Exhaustive, Meticulous Process

Superior is home to a population made up of new residences and relocated families.  A big chunk of them played a role in developing the program and design for the town’s first new community-wide park.   

Multiple public facilitation and outreach processes provided mechanisms for the community to participate in planning. Here’s what was heard and understood

  • Wishes
  • Concerns
  • Issues
  • Needs
  • Gaps
  • Goals
  • Visions

Community In Motion

This is a park that encourages movement in many ways. The individual park features promote multiple opportunities for swinging, climbing sliding, balancing, and gliding. In addition, the park features are dispersed along flowing, interwoven paths that entice kids (and adults) to run, jog, or walk from event to event in all sorts of ways, maybe taking a different turn or climbing over a boulder to get there. While zipping along, swinging or climbing on one event, they have a view of another fun activity just beyond. They jump off, navigate a winding route to a new play activity, and repeat, without having to follow the same route or pattern twice. Whether strolling the ⅓-mile main loop trail, playing basketball, or using the outdoor fitness equipment, there are activities for everyone to get moving in fun ways.

Amenities Abound for Enhanced Quality of Life

There’s no lack of features to keep the 12,000+ residents entertained, connected to nature and the outdoors.   

Lots of features and things to do for multi-generational play
A mix of active play and passive native planting areas make for a natural park setting in Superior Colorado
  • Net climber play area
  • Basketball court
  • Sand volleyball court
  • Park shelters
  • Picnic tables
  • Bike racks
  • Grills
  • Slackline Posts
  • Climbing rock with embankment slide
  • Zipline – 95 foot!
  • Swings
  • Walking paths
  • Game tables
  • Bocce court
  • Outdoor fitness equipment
  • “Biggo” swing
  • Strap swings and ADA swing
  • Freestyle swing
  • Overlook with shelter and pergolas
  • Custom slide shaped like a 3rd Flatiron Mountain by IDS

Wild Wildflower Park

The park design re-creates a look of a native landscape extending the impression and feel of nearby open spaces.  It’s intentionally designed to NOT look ornamental. It’s designed to have a wild, informal and flowing feel like the blowing open prairie of the natural environment.  

Sure there’s some formal areas, but they’re interspersed with native plants.  The park’s central green is surrounded by native plantings and non-turf areas are covered with native trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers.   

The town conducted a contest to name the park.  From a pool of over 100 suggestions, the one that rose to the top honors the natural design and the indigenous plantings of grasses, shrubs and groundcover seed filled with native wildflowers... Wildflower Park

Aerial image provided by The Town of Superior Colorado

Aerial image provided by The Town of Superior Colorado