The Carbondale Creative District(CCD) and RFTA announce the progress of the Rio Grande ArtWay. After a year of collaboration and public input, a plan is in place, and design and implementation of that plan will begin in the spring. Additional partners in the upcoming project include: SGM Engineering and the Carbondale Rotary Clubs. The Rio Grande ArtWay will encompass a one mile stretch of the Rio Grande Trail as it runs through Carbondale. The gateways are Snowmass Dr. and Main St., behind the Carbondale Clay Center, and Hwy. 133 and the trail, across from the RFTA Transit Station.
One of the first large projects will be the construction of a multi-use, soft-surface trail, adjacent to the existing asphalt trail. Brett Meredith, RFTA Trails and Corridor Manager, received a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Trails Grant last year to make this dream a reality. “I began to realize how many different ways the trail is utilized and found an opportunity to create multiple trail options to accommodate the various uses.” explained Meredith.
The second endeavor is a collaborative project with the Rotary Clubs of Carbondale on DeRail Park, located at the Hwy. 133 gateway. DeRail Park will integrate art and function to create an entrance to the ArtWay that will be user friendly and reflect the history of the railway and Carbondale’s bicycle and creative culture. Design plans for DeRail Park will be available in February.
Another project in the design phase is starts in February for the Latino Folk Art Park. This park is funded by The Colorado Health Foundation and a Live Well grant. Collaborators include: The Valley Settlement Project, English In Action, Radio La Tricolor and El Montanes news. This park will be located at 8th Street and the Rio Grande Trail and will feature gardens, gathering spots and interactive art.
Creative Placemaking is an evolving field of practice that intentionally leverages the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place. “The Rio Grande ArtWay will give voice to underserved communities, while creating a linear park that will connect Carbondale through creativity’” stated CCD committee member, Amy Kimberly, “ It will also attract others to explore what Carbondale is about”. Other projects slated for the ArtWay include The Youth Art Park, more public art, history and landscaping. A crucial piece to this project is community participation. To get involved or informed visit carbondalecreativedistrict.com.