FORT LUPTON — At the dedication of the new Heritage Park May 21 on Northrup Avenue, Fort Lupton Mayor Tommy Holton commended organizers for turning what he called a “weed field” into something to be enjoyed by many generations to come.
Holton, flanked by Twombly Elementary fifth-grader and essay contest winner Jadin Schiers, briefly addressed a crowd of about 50 guests – many of them classmates of Schiers’ – just moments before the youngster cut the ceremonial ribbon.
The new Heritage Park was given its regal moniker by Schiers, who penned the winning essay at the urging of Twombly fifth-grade teacher Steven Trujillo.
Trujillo said, along with the honor of cutting the ribbon, Schiers also received a gift card and a certificate recognizing her efforts. However, Trujillo said the real reward for Schiers was the pride of knowing her efforts will last for years to come.
“What she is most excited about is that she named this park, and that’s something she can share years from now with her children and her children’s children,” Trujillo said. “Gift certificates only last so long – the naming of a park lasts forever.”
The diminutive wordsmith said she chose the name as a way to evoke pride in the community’s past.
“I named it Heritage Park because of the Heritage Fair and because it brought back lots of memories of the past,” she said.
Schiers’ mother, Leslie Schiers, who attended the event with husband David, said she was proud of her daughter and was also pleased with the guidance provided by Trujillo.
“She did a good job — she’s just amazing,” Leslie Schiers said. “Her and Mr. Trujillo, those two together have really gone far.”
In turn, Trujillo said he worked from “day one” with assistant city manager Aaron Herrera, who headed the park project, to inspire all the students to “prepare persuasive essays” for the contest.
Herrera was unable to attend the dedication, but Fort Lupton City Councilman Kevin Schwickrath said Herrera and other organizers did a good job.
“This was always just a weed patch back here … just wasted space,” said Schwickrath, who began last year to urge council to back the approximately $25,000 project. “If you look at the original plans for the neighborhood, this was always supposed to be a park. So I pushed real hard around budget time to make sure we got it done.”
Schiers said the end result is everything she hoped it would be.
“I love it,” she said.
Contact Staff Writer Jeremy Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-659-2522, ext. 217.