It has been almost two years since one of Colorado’s most destructive wildfires happened.
The Waldo Canyon fire caused $460.3 million in damage, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, destroying more than 300 homes.
The City of Colorado Springs teamed up with residents to renovate Mountain Shadows Park Saturday. They want to improve it, honor people who lost everything during the fire and celebrate those who helped.
For parents who live in Mountain Shadows, the wildfire left more than a burn scar in the area.
“I have two young kids, days like today -- beautiful day, gray clouds -- my kids ask is there a fire in the area today,” Eddie Hurt said.
“The rebuilding process took away time I could have spent with my children,” Charlotte Poltenovage said.
But the park is more than just a playground and baseball field for parents and kids.
“Coming to the park has allowed my kids to forget the destruction,” Poltenvage said.
“Kids are the ones probably affected by this, it gives the kids a place to see that the city and citizens of Colorado Springs do care,” Hurt said.
Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach said about 80 percent of the homes in Mountain Shadows are either rebuilt or under construction.
“Two years later, it’s great to come back here and see so much rebuilding in Mountain Shadows,” he said.
The Waldo Canyon Fire Memorial will be put in the park to honor Bill Everett and Barbara Everett, who died in the fire, the first responders, and people who lost everything. The memorial is expected to be done by October.
City Park Planner David Deitemeyer said the memorial is meant to be a central hub for people to reflect.
More than 150 residents had a chance to voice their ideas about what they wanted in the park, even kids shared their ideas.
“They had visions of zip lines and slides with sections missing so they had to fly through the air and if they missed they had a trampoline to fall on,” Deitemeyer said.
The cost of the project is more than $200,000.