Jamestown, Colorado, is about to get a face lift. The town has been awarded a substantial Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant to provide new recreational equipment and improvements for five acres of their Elysian Park. Home to one of the Front Range’s favorite Fourth of July parties, the park featured a dilapidated playground structure and a pavilion up until 2009 when they were removed.
Renovations will include the construction of a children’s playground, a combination tennis and basketball court with adjacent shade structure, a picnic and education pavilion and a re-landscaped perimeter trail. They will celebrate the renovations and continue raising money with a fund-raising concert, the Mid-Winter Snow Ball, on Jan. 21, hosted by The Jamestown Mercantile.
In 2006, they began to mitigate the land, which used to be a mine tailing pond, by adding 18 inches of top soil to the entire five acres due to mineral testing which revealed the existence of heavy metals in some areas. This first project was funded by the State of Colorado, the EPA and the town of Jamestown and initiated a long process of garnering support and funding for expansive upgrades.
The town developed a master plan with Project Manager Wendy Stokes at the helm; and a community survey prioritized four renovations: the pavilion, tennis court, trail and playground. The project has broad and enthusiastic support from the community because it provides services for all ages and satisfies so many recreational interests.
The GOCO grant requires that the recipient provide a portion of the costs and labor, so it really forces the community to rally behind their project. In any GOCO grant, a community must contribute 10 percent in cash and also come up with in-kind contributions of 20 percent of the entire cost, either in cash, or donated or discounted labor and materials. Since the total project costs $197,471, in this case, Jamestown will contribute $19,747 in cash. In addition, the town has received donations from local nonprofits including the Jamestown Artists and Musicians, James Creek Watershed Initiative, Green Girl Recycling and the Jamestown Church, totaling about $6,000; and finally, local people are donating about $33,000 in labor and materials.
This is a huge outpouring of support from a very small community. Certain features which are not included in the grant will hopefully be funded in part by the Jan. 21 concert fundraiser at the Town Hall. These amenities include benches, a baseball backstop and infield grading, and additional unforeseen costs.
The Jamestown Mercantile will host the concert and provide pulled pork sandwiches, salads and desserts. Music starts at 4 p.m. with Danny Shafer and goes into the night with Ashleigh Flynn, Ben Hanna and The Gasoline Lollipops. Danny Shafer, a one-time resident and long-time family member of Jamestown, has been pedaling his impeccably written country and working man songs through the Rockies for 20 years and has spearheaded many national touring bands, including The All Night Honky Tonk All Stars, The Danny Shafer Band and recently Danny Shafer and the 21st Century. He delivers not only beautiful stories with unparalleled emotion and clarity, but also energetic country blues tunes that drive a dancing crowd as well.
Portland, Oregon’s Ashleigh Flynn follows Shafer with equally compelling storytelling and emotional presence. Well-loved in the folk scene in Colorado, she often tours through this region with Boulder-based Greg Schochet on mandolin and various other local guests. Both Shafer and Flynn have elegantly survived the life of the touring troubadour and have honed their craft with equal parts skill and heart.
The Ben Hanna Band with former members of Radical Knitting Circle plays next at 10 p.m., a five-piece ensemble including Ben Gallagher on keys, Alex Venetucci on drums, Keith Summers on banjo, Matt Canter on upright bass and Ben Hanna on vocals and guitar. The Gasoline Lollipops bring the volume up at about 11 p.m. with their energetic, edgy, alt-country rock. Clay Rose delivers intelligent, thematic songs with a rowdy punch, supported by Jonny Mouser on drums, Ken Campbell on bass, Don Ambory on telecaster and sometimes Jeb Bows on fiddle. The lineup will surely inspire the community to get out their hammer and nails and start working. Ticket price will be $10, half of which goes to the aforementioned additional renovations, and the party starts at 4 p.m.