There’s still snow on the ground, but that’s not stopping people from enjoying a new water park on the Western Slope.
The city of Montrose has finished construction two months ahead of schedule on its Water Sports Park. The recreation area is now open to the public.
The park utilizes a section of the Uncompahgre River. Montrose created ‘wave stimulators’ so people can kayak, paddle board, raft and swim in the waves.
City Engineer Scott Murphy explains how it works.
"We tried to make it as natural looking as possible," Murphy says. "Each wave stimulator has a lot of natural stone boulders that run up on each side onto each bank of the river. And right in the of middle of each one is a concrete box [that’s] about 15x15 ft that kind of serves to control and make that wave what they want it to be."
In order to make the waves the city rerouted the river during its low period and dug into the riverbed to install the concrete boxes. Those boxes are now covered by earth, water and stone, changing the course of the river to add more waves.
Additionally, the park has two rock climbing boulders and fish habitat.
Montrose is also home to a large veteran community. Murphy says the city worked with Welcome Home Montrose to ensure the park would be accessible to disabled veterans and others interested in adaptive athletics.