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Thursday, June 1, 2023

City to Invest More Than $4 Million into Historic Westminster’s England Park Corridor

City to Invest More Than $4 Million into Historic Westminster’s England Park Corridor


The England Park corridor in Historic Westminster will see major improvements over the next few years, and now is the time for residents to help plan the future of this section of Little Dry Creek and the surrounding area. 

The project site includes Little Dry Creek Trail from 72nd Avenue to Lowell Boulevard, a section that City staff and residents have highlighted as a priority for park improvements. 

“England Park is a focal point and central hub for Historic Westminster,” said Blake Ramsey, interim operations manager for Westminster’s Parks, Recreation and Libraries Department. “It’s an active community with diverse backgrounds and lifestyles, and the revamped England Park corridor will reflect that.” 

Over the next three years, the City of Westminster will invest more than $4 million to improve the corridor’s trail system, park amenities, landscaping, and overall health of the ecosystem. This initial $4 million down payment on restoration of the England Park corridor and Historic Westminster includes on-street improvements along 72nd Avenue. More information on the overarching efforts along 72nd Ave. can be found here: www.cityofwestminster.us/72ndAvenueStudy

Andie Murtha, design project manager for the City, said the improvements are a direct response to resident requests to enliven the area. 

“There are some really special features in the area,” Murtha said. “If you go down to the Nature Playground, that was sort of a terminus where a lot of work has been done previously. We want to pull that energy and activity up to 72nd [Avenue].” 

At this stage in the process, City staff are focusing on engaging with residents and asking for input on what they would like to see in their neighborhood park spaces. Interested residents and potential park and trail users can voice their support for features, themes, and even landscaping preferences using the online survey here: www.westminsterenglandpark.com

“We want to know, ‘How would you use this space?’” Ramsey said. “It informs a lot of things above and beyond the placement of benches and courts.” 

Potential park amenities include climbing features, a themed playground, educational gardens, and flexible courts for both volleyball and sepak takraw, a popular sport in the Hmong community similar to volleyball but played by kicking instead of hitting the ball. The project will begin with significant improvements to the Bowles Historic House Museum and surrounding area that highlight different cultures within Westminster. This includes tributes to Native American, Hispanic, and European cultures as well as educational components relating to Westminster’s prehistoric ecology.  

While the area’s initial master planning process began in 2006, and has had multiple iterations, the City has fine-tuned a nearly completed plan that has benefited from incorporating modern sustainability standards. Murtha acknowledged that the delays in improving the England Park corridor can be frustrating, but now residents have an opportunity to directly impact a large-scale project that will drastically improve the area. 

“It’s really important to connect all the pieces when you have this opportunity,” she said. “We’re excited because this project is like the stars are aligning with several community partners to make [Historic Westminster] the best that it can be.” 

Staff from the City of Westminster’s Parks, Recreation and Libraries Department will be present at the Summer Block Party on Friday, June 2 to discuss the future of the England Park corridor and show several examples of park themes and features. You can stop by the Grange Hall during the event to fill out a survey and get a free snow cone. The Summer Block Party will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at 73rd Ave. and Bradburn Boulevard, with free dinner provided by Westminster Public Schools, live music, a jumping castle, fire truck rides, activities, and more. 

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