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The Essential Need for Parks During a Pandemic

For 40 years, we have lived by the belief that our community deserves plenty of outdoor spaces to recreate and enjoy nature. With all the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, parks and green spaces have become even more vital for maintaining health and happiness during tough times. We recently came across a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, detailing the importance of open spaces in relation to physical and mental health, and we thought we’d share some of the highlights – as well our own thoughts on the subject!

 

Physical Activity Reduces COVID-19 Risk Factors

We all know that physical activity benefits your overall health, but studies show that outdoor activity and exposure to nature specifically correlate to reducing COVID-19 risk factors. Exercise is proven to lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes – all of which are linked to intensifying symptoms of COVID-19.

 

Mental Health Benefits of Experiencing Nature

Mental illness has been dubbed the unspoken collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The debilitating mental side effects of isolation and lack of human interaction can be very harmful for those who already struggle with mental health issues. Exercising and spending time in nature reduce stress and depression, as well as release endorphins that improve mental wellbeing.

 

Socially Distanced, Safe and Still Moving

Even as public places have started reopening, many don’t feel comfortable being enclosed in a gym. Fortunately, experts are saying that outdoor spaces are relatively safe during a pandemic when people stay more than six feet apart, wear face masks, and refrain from long conversations with others. With a beautiful Colorado fall on the horizon, parks and outdoor spaces are the perfect place to engage in physical activity.

 

Recommendations for Urban Areas in the Future

The CDC article notes that those who live in dense urban areas may be at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and have limited access to parks and open spaces. A couple ideas for resolving this issue include an “open streets” style initiative, in which city blocks are closed off for a day to encourage outdoor activity. Additionally, transforming unused natural spaces in urban areas into functioning recreational pockets have tremendous benefits, not only on residents’ wellbeing but on the environment as well. Learn more about this concept with our newest RiNO Promenade project.

 

Colorado Parks to Explore

Itching to get out of the house and spend some quality time at Colorado parks? Here are just a few pandemic-friendly outdoor spaces that ECI has created:

 

 

 

A Growing Park for a Growing Community: ECI Begins Construction on Timnath Community Park Phase Two

The word’s gotten out, and the votes are in: Colorado is the place to be. It’s no secret that our state’s population has boomed in recent years, and many small towns are witnessing exponential growth. As more and more young families are planting their roots in northern Colorado, the Town of Timnath is no exception to the recent growth explosion. The current Timnath Community Park, located at 5500 Summerfields Pkwy., is expanding to accommodate this increase, and ECI is thrilled to be a part of it!

 

Construction of Timnath Community Park Phase Two officially began in late November 2019, with ECI at the helm as the project’s Construction Manager/General Contractor. The second phase will be constructed across 12 acres and is being delivered under the CM/GC process. The first work package that includes the civil infrastructure and certain site features will be approximately $1.5 million, with the remainder of the project being incorporated before year end. The park will consist of numerous unique features:

 

  • A natural style of playground
  • A large open play field
  • Additional parking areas
  • A new dog park
  • A custom restroom building

 

“ECI looks forward to partnering with the Town on the construction of another great amenity for the people of Timnath here in northern Colorado,” said Ted Johnson, president of ECI. “The residents of Timnath have high expectations for this next phase of the park, and ECI is proud to have assembled a quality team for construction of this project.”

 

Phase one of Timnath Community Park was completed in summer 2016 and includes a playground, picnic shelter, plaza area, structure for restrooms and storage, and a large open space. It has since become a central location for town events, small concerts and community gatherings.

 

Connecting communities through diverse outdoor spaces is what ECI does best, and we can’t wait to deliver this project for the residents of Timnath!

 

Current Timnath Community Park, courtesy of Timnath.org