Opening day, May 23, means the barn door opens at the Belleview Park Children’s Farm, the Lions Club Miniature Train begins the endless trips …
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Opening day, May 23, means the barn door opens at the Belleview
Park Children’s Farm, the Lions Club Miniature Train begins the
endless trips around the park and swimmers splash down at Pirates
Cove Family Aquatic Park.
Opening of the Belleview Park attractions traditionally kick off
the summer season at the popular park.
The farm lets children get close to animals like calves, ponies,
goats and sheep. The farm is closed on Monday, with the exceptions
of Memorial Day and Labor Day. Normal hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Admission is $1, and children under 2 are admitted free. Children
must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Group tours are
available. For information, call 303-798-6927.
The Lions have operated a miniature train in Englewood since
City Park was where CityCenter Englewood is today, but this year
saw the handing over of operations and maintenance to the City
because club members felt they could no longer keep the train
The tiny train takes riders rumbling along the track, clattering
over a trestle and whisking through a tunnel during the mile-long
ride around the park. The train is idle on Monday except on
Memorial Day and Labor Day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday
through Saturday and from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. on Sunday. A ride ticket
is $1, and children under 2 ride free.
In addition to the special attractions, the expansive park
offers picnic areas, shelters, a nature area and even a creek
chuckling over the stones where kids of all ages can go wading. The
pavilion, restrooms and the playground on the east side of the park
have being totally rebuilt. The large, improved pavilion offers
covered picnic areas. The columns of the pavilion are covered with
stones from the former Englewood City Hall on South Elati St.
The building project also created a new and much improved
playground and improved basketball court.
Jerrell Black, parks and recreation director, said crews are
working daily, putting final touches so all the facilities will be
ready to go by opening day.
Crews are also making final preparations for the May 23 opening
of Pirates Cove Family Aquatics Park.
Pirates Cove offers slides, tubing on the “Lazy River” a
beach-like entrance to a family water play area plus a regular lap
pool. Additionally, there is a snack bar and sand play area.
The facility is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily until
Aug. 16. For information, call 303-762-2683.
The cluster of attractions are very popular. Black said it would
be difficult to determine how many people visit the park. For
example, several thousand visitors gather at Belleview Park on July
4 to watch the fireworks display. He said his best estimate is
there are probably about a half-million people who spend time and
visit the facilities at Belleview Park during any 12-month
The land that now is Belleview Park was once part of the Silver
Dollar Ranch. That changed in the late 1960s, when Englewood sold
City Park to developers who turned it into Cinderella City shopping
mall. Englewood got almost $1 million for the park and pledged to
use the money to create a city-wide park system.
Within a year, Englewood bought land and opened Belleview Park.
The miniature train moved in soon after. At that time, the train
was a miniature version of a Rio Grande streamliner. The petting
zoo was built by the Lions Club, and later the city took over and
it became the Belleview Children’s Farm.
All the early parks had a theme, and Belleview’s theme was
space. The original playground equipment, designed by Parks and
Recreation Director E.P. “Packy” Romans and built by the city,
included rockets and space stations.
The park got a “real live” rocket in the 1970s when the United
States Air Force donated a missile, which became playground
equipment. Belleview became widely known as “Airplane Park.”
But time, weather and use caused potential safety hazards, and
there was talk of scrapping the missile in the late 1990s. However,
a group headed by City Councilman Al Vormittag set about restoring
the missile, which had become the trademark of the park. Eventually
the city got an arts grant, and the missile now has a permanent
home atop a pedestal. Ceremonies marked the event in June 1997.
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