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With millions of people around the world living with disabilities, it is crucial to ensure that our communities are accessible and inclusive for everyone. Multiple departments within the City of Colorado Springs including the Office of Accessibility, Public Works and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (PRCS) partnered together for multiple projects in 2023 that have played a pivotal role in advancing recreational accessibility in the Colorado Springs community. These ADA improvement projects were designed with inclusivity in mind with modifications to enhance the independence and quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

2023 Projects

Palmer Park

The Palmer Park playground has been transformed to be more accessible for the entire community. More than 6,500 square feet of sand was replaced with an engineered wood fiber to provide a firm, stable and slip-resistant surface that is still safe to play on. Landscape timbers between play areas were also removed and staff installed an adaptive swing set. A pilot program is tentatively scheduled for 2024 to install wear mats at locations around the playground where the engineered wood fiber is more likely to shift. These wear mats will help maintain access to various components of the playground and reduce the amount of maintenance required from Parks staff.

Previously, the Palmer Dog Park only had parking in a gravel lot, without a clear route into the fenced area for someone with a mobility disability. The accessibility improvements within the parking lot include formalizing accessible parking spots and creating a compliant ramp down to the entrance of the fenced dog area. Additionally, amenities provided at the dog park were moved closer to the entrances of either fenced area, so that they are available to anyone that might need them. These improvements make the area truly usable for anyone to bring their dog (service animal or not) to the dog park.

Garden of the Gods Overflow Parking

Accessible parking is now available at the Garden of the Gods overflow parking lot. Since the Garden of the Gods receives an estimated 4.5 million visitors per year, parking within the Garden itself can fill up pretty quickly. The newly installed parking spaces are provided near a shuttle stop that provides further access into the Garden and will also provide access to future interpretive signs and installations at a plaza area located nearby. Up until this project, the overflow parking lot was entirely gravel.

Cottonwood Creek Community Park

Accessible parking serving the Cottonwood Creek sports fields is provided on the north side of the park, adjacent to the Cottonwood Creek and trail. The deteriorated asphalt surface of the parking lot was replaced with a more durable concrete surface, and the new design provides improved pedestrian and maintenance vehicle access to the park.

Swing High Playground (Memorial Park)

The Swing High Universally Accessible Playground was constructed in 2010; however, parking along Prospect Lake Drive has deteriorated over the years. Now, visitors can expect compliant accessible parking in a previously gravel lot next to the playground, that is connected with an ADA compliant route to the nearest bus stop further east along Prospect Lake Drive.

Prospect Lake Beach House (Memorial Park)

An accessible route to the Prospect Lake Beach at Memorial Park is now available. Previously, access to the beach required traversing sand and grass which can be difficult in a wheelchair or for other mobility devices. 

Sertich Ice Center Restrooms (Memorial Park)

Visitors at Sertich Ice Center at Memorial Park can now enjoy completely accessible restrooms on the north side of the building. ADA improvements were included as part of an entire revamp of the restrooms, with corrections made to how and where fixtures were installed, resizing of compartments to ensure they are wheelchair-accessible, and the provision of diaper changing tables installed at a height where they are usable by someone seated in a wheelchair.

Leon Young Sports Complex

Significant work was performed to regrade the parking lot at the Leon Young Sport Complex. Improvements in the parking lot included asphalt resurfacing and the installation of an ADA compliant parking lot.

2024 Projects

Rock Ledge Ranch Kiosk

The buildings at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site are not necessarily accessible to persons with disabilities, given the fact that some were constructed over 100 years ago. The Office of Accessibility, the City’s Communications Department, and the City’s IT Department are working together to provide a kiosk at the site that will include narrated videos of experiences at sites around the Ranch that are not physically accessible. 

Westside Community Center

Multiple improvements will take place at the Westside Community Center in the spring and summer of 2024. These projects include the installation of a vertical platform lift to connect the upper half of the west building to the lower half, the procurement of a secondary lift to provide access to the stage in the gymnasium, replacing the floor in a corridor of the building to correct excessive slopes, and the replacement of the main entrance door with one that is ADA compliant.

Fire Station 16 / Oak Meadows Park

City staff will begin work in 2024 to resolve accessibility challenges at Oak Meadows Park. After repairing the parking lot outside of Fire Station 16, the route leading to the park’s playground will be reconfigured to provide access to a publicly available Community Room at Fire Station 16.

Meadows Park

Meadows Park is currently undergoing replacement of cracked concrete throughout the park to increase safety and accessibility and eliminate tripping hazards. Additionally, ramps leading into the park are being updated to meet the latest standards for accessibility.

ADA improvement projects play a crucial role in creating a more inclusive society. By focusing on accessible public transportation, barrier-free environments, technology, community engagement, and education, we can make a positive impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities. Let us continue to champion the cause of accessibility and work towards a more inclusive future for all. We look forward to the work that will be accomplished in 2024 to create an inclusive environment for all of Colorado Springs to enjoy!

To learn more about the City’s efforts to create an inclusive community, or to get involved, reach out to us at