A master plan process is underway to develop Norman “Bulldog” Coleman Community Park, a 70-acre mostly undeveloped park asset located in eastern Colorado Springs near the intersection of Tutt Avenue and Barnes Road. Using community input to be collected through an extensive community engagement process, the final master plan will provide recommendations for the eventual design, development and construction of this community park. Coleman Park is envisioned to function similarly to Memorial or John Venezia parks with sports fields and a universally accessible playground.
Adjacent to Coleman Park is UCHealth Park (home of the Rocky Mountain Vibes baseball team) and Ragain Field (former Switchbacks soccer stadium). Together with these facilities, a section of Sand Creek, and convenient access to the Sand Creek Trail, the site and its location bring tremendous opportunity for a community park with a variety of recreational experiences.
The master plan process will seek to:
- Elevate Sand Creek as a significant defining element by integrating the creek into the park site
- Explore opportunities to create an activated destination that builds and expands on existing facilities
- Provide a destination for outdoor recreation on the east side of Colorado Springs
- Creatively engage the public and stakeholders throughout the process
The process will also focus on trail connectivity, as well as, a potential offsite southern detention pond and overlook.
Location, Location, Location
The City acquired the Coleman Park site in 1995 through the land development process when Pring Ranch was developed. Then, in 2021, the City traded a 23.5-acre sports complex property it owned on Tutt Boulevard for 23.5 acres next to Coleman Park in a land exchange with Classic Communities. The additional acreage was part of the former Springs Ranch Golf Course. The total park site is now 70 acres.
The park’s location – near hotel and commercial areas, and adjacent to existing sport infrastructure, plus Sand Creek – represents a tremendous opportunity to create an active sports hub and purposefully engage the natural environment into the park’s framework.
It’s all in a name
The park’s namesake is Norman “Bulldog” Coleman, a Colorado Springs business booster with philanthropic interests. He died in 1994, a year before the City acquired the first tract of land for Coleman Park.
Coleman was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio, on March 4, 1923. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II and saw action aboard the USS Somersworth (PCE-849), a ship he eventually commanded. He continued his military service until 1980 as a member of the Naval Reserve, attaining the rank of Rear Admiral. He also oversaw the regional Naval Reserve Readiness Command, headquartered in Denver, and chaired the Naval Reserve Policy Board. Coleman’s military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and multiple combat citations.
Admiral Coleman moved to Colorado Springs in 1959 and was the chairman of CBS Insurance from 1959-1994. He was a passionate advocate for local business and philanthropic interests and served as the chairman of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Military Affairs Council, and the United Fund, a precursor to today’s United Way of the Pikes Peak Region.
Master Plan Process
Issues and opportunities to be addressed during the master plan process, which is expected to complete in the spring of 2023, include:
- Appropriate sport uses and layout
- Appropriate active recreation uses and business modeling
- Appropriate passive recreation use, i.e. type and location of benches, wayfinding, placemaking/public art, and other furnishings, etc.
- Constraints such as Plat or Deed restrictions
- Interpretive and cultural opportunities
- Circulation (pedestrian, non-motorized vehicles, automobiles, service vehicles)
- Vehicle access and internal circulation
- Complete creek and stormwater water quality improvements
- Forestry, native plants, water conservation, and green improvements
- Suburban wildlife habitat restoration
- Recognizes current park rules of use and enforcement, and brings forward any new identified needs
- Identification of partnership opportunities i.e. local organizations, clubs, businesses, civic entities, adjacent landowners, etc.
- Community volunteer opportunities
- Special event opportunities
- Revenue opportunities
- Public/private partnership opportunities
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the proposed hours of the park?
Colorado Springs Community Parks have standard hours which include hours for the competitive and community leagues.
- Summer 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Winter 5 a.m. – 9 p.m.
How will quiet hours be enforced?
All parks have hours listed on Rules and Regulation Signs are posted in every park as well as on the parks department website. Security lighting will be in key locations in the park and city staff is planning for gated access afterhours. Security cameras will be installed as has been done in two recently built city parks, Venezia and Panorama. The primary trails will serve as maintenance, security and emergency access roads.
Will there be plans for a restroom and what will the hours be?
Yes, restrooms will be available at Coleman Park. The hours will be the same as the park hours. In winter restrooms are commonly shut down for the winter and locked.
Will restrooms auto close at night?
Staff will be evaluating an automated locking system to determine if it’s feasible at Coleman Park.
Will there be dog waste stations and garbage cans?
We will include both regular trash cans as well as pet waste receptacles and bag dispensers within the park. The parks department staff will maintain the park. Parks staff often work with local interest groups to create a Park Adoption group that assists by keeping eyes on the site and to help with what is needed.
How late will sporting events last? When will lights be turned off?
The latest scheduled games will be played from 9-10 pm, with lights turned off by 11 pm.
What are the plans for traffic getting in and out of the park?
The park design includes a circulation system for general use and local league games, allowing cars to enter and exit from and onto arterial and collector roads, not into adjacent neighborhood streets. If special events are held at the park, specific applications apply that will address traffic plans.
What is the need for more baseball/softball fields? Can the softball fields be replaced with football fields? Community Market? Other sports?
Due to the loss or closing of other city fields and our growing population, baseball/softball fields are in high demand in Colorado Springs, as are soccer and football fields for both youth and adults. The synthetic turf allows the fields to be used throughout the entire year and striped in the outfield to allow for the flexibility of many different field sports. See the Skyview Sports Complex image below as an example. This combined use of field space reduces the sport field footprint which historically has taken double the space, freeing up more land for community park use.
How can I sign up to volunteer to be part of a Park Adoption group?
How will Coleman Park have a low water footprint?
The parks department prioritizes water efficient design principles to minimize our water footprint with every project. We limit our outdoor water use with synthetic turf sport fields instead of irrigated bluegrass. We also incorporate water efficient irrigation design and equipment combined with low water use plantings and native plants to support long term sustainability.
Sand Creek Trail
What does the trail connect to?
Sand Creek Trail will run the entire east side of Colorado Springs from Fountain Creek up to the northeast El Paso County boundary and will connect with the Rock Island Trail, Pikes Peak Greenway/Fountain Creek Trail, Woodmen Road Trail, and with future connections to El Paso County Trails (regional trails). This future Coleman Park Sand Creek Trail segment is planned to be a part of the future “Ring the Springs” Trail, encompassing the city. See map below. Please see our Department Page for full information: https://coloradosprings.gov/parks
Neighborhood Safety and Impact
Will there be gates and what time will they lock?
Gates will be installed at all entrances and closed during non-park hours (5 am - 9 pm winter/5 am - 10 pm summer).
What are the neighborhood buffers?
All initial design proposals include a minimum 75’ buffer between active programs and neighboring homes. The buffer may include a trail, vegetation (trees, shrubs, native grasses), berms or swales. The berms and swales will vary to allow for drainage towards the park. Once we have a finalized park plan, we will share the buffer designs with adjacent homeowners.
Will the lighting be visible to neighborhood homes?
Lighting is primarily anticipated in the parking lots, on primary pathways, in pavilions, and on 3-plex fields and courts. The lights will be on timers controlled by city staff. We will create a lighting design that limits the light footprint.
Sports lighting has evolved significantly with full cut-off lighting and visors to minimize glare. The sports lighting is located a minimum of 200’ away from neighbors. The sports lighting at the Vibes Stadium is equivalent to 1976/1977 technology and Martin Ed Ragain field is equivalent to mid-80’s technology. Pickleball lighting can include push button systems that turn the lights on only when users are there. The lights would not be on after the curfew of the park.
The image below shows advances to current day lighting technology.
Where will the ADA Parking be?
There are currently 13 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) spaces in the parking lot west of Martin Ed Ragain Field that will remain as part of Coleman Park. As part of the new master plan for parking, there will be a minimum of 20 ADA spaces provided throughout the park. ADA parking will be provided in each lot.
Will the market space area be an option for summer outdoor concerts?
The Coleman Park Master Plan will accommodate a variety of spaces for different scale and size events. The market space may be appropriate for a small event while a larger event might be hosted at Ragain Field.
Are trees going to be planted along the creek?
Yes, appropriate trees will be selected and planted along the creek as well as other spaces within the park. Shade, tree canopy and habitat are design priorities.
The master plan process is engaging the public in a series of conceptual design meetings, onsite experiential tours and focus groups. Public meeting information and community surveys will be posted here.
PRCS Advisory Board Meeting
March 9th. This was not an action item. It was a presentation by PRCS staff.
Community Forum #3
This was the third and final planned community forum where staff presented the final draft of the master plan as informed by the prior two public meetings and surveys.
Forum #3 Meeting Materials
Community Forum #2
Thursday, Sept. 29, 5:30 – 7 p.m., Sand Creek High School, 7005 Carefree Circle North
More than 100 community members attended the second of three public forums for a presentation of the status of the Coleman Community Park Master Plan process and to provide their input and comments about the three initial park concepts: Community Sports Hub, Creek Promenade, and Outdoor Adventure.
Sept. 29 Community Forum #2 Meeting Materials
- Concept #1 - Community Sports Hub
- Concept #2 - Active Creek Corridor
- Concept #3 - Outdoor Adventure
- Public Outreach Summary #2
Community Survey #2
Designed to help us understand desires for a future preferred concept for Coleman Community Park. Survey now closed.
Community Forum #1
Thursday, June 16, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
More than 100 community members joined us at Coleman Community Park where they learned more about this exciting park design and development project and shared their ideas. This was the first in a series of at least three planned community forums that will help inform the park’s master plan.
The project involves three vision areas:
- Creating an active sports hub
- Integrating Sand Creek and nature
- Community park amenities
June 16 Coleman Park Community Forum #1 Boards
To be kept informed of the project and upcoming public meetings, sign up to be added to the project database:
Follow @COSpringsParks on Facebook
- January 2023 newlsetter
- September 2022 newsletter
- August 2022 newsletter
- June 6, 2022 newsletter
- May 21 Event Postponement Notice
- May 2022 newsletter
- April 2022 newsletter
Sports Organizations Survey
A major aspect of this plan is to understand the current uses and future demand for athletic fields and sports courts in the city, and specifically this area of town, by sports organizations in the community.
Survey is now closed.
The master plan is funded thanks to voter approval of ballot issue 2B in the Nov. 2019 election, which allowed the City to retain $7 million in excess 2018 TABOR revenue for predetermined Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services projects citywide. The total cost of the Coleman Community Park master plan is $247,000. For more information on 2B and how funds have been spent, visit ColoradoSprings.gov/2B.