Wards Lake Park is a beautiful natural reserve in northeastern Lakewood. It is home to historic oak groves, natural habitats, a scenic lake, walking trails, and more. It could also benefit from improvements.
Visibility is poor in some areas of the park. These become prone to garbage dumping or camping. The entrance to the park is inconspicuous; many locals may pass by and never know to visit.
The City intends to begin improvements by early 2023. Plans include the addition of a dog park, an ADA-accessible walking trail loop around the lake, a new bridge, and a “pump track”.
A pump track is a hilly course for biking and skateboarding. Riders coast up and down small hills and “pump” on the downslope to build momentum to crest the next hill.
The City hosted several rounds of public engagement to invite ideas for the park in 2019. The City published a video tour of proposed improvements in 2020. The City is now finalizing those plans to prepare for permitting and construction.
Construction is expected to begin by early 2023. Slight permitting delays are possible due to the sensitivity of the park’s wetland and natural habitats.
Local birder Russ Smith mentioned spotting more than 80 bird species in his years visiting the park. Wards Lake Park will soon be more inviting for its human visitors while remaining a sanctuary for its wild visitors.