Lake Minnequa Redevelopment Project
Southside Puebloans will soon enjoy a prosperity similar to that on the north side of Pueblo. In 2008, PURA created the Minnequa-Lake Avenue project area, designed to restore the Lake Avenue business corridor to its former glory. PURA’s efforts are in cooperation with the City of Pueblo, which purchased more than 200 acres in the area from Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel Mill in January 2009 to rehabilitate Lake Minnequa.
As many Puebloans can recall, Minnequa was once a viable community. An amusement park and drive-in, coupled with Lake Minnequa and the Minnequa Club, created a hub of neighborhood activity – swim meets, jet skiing, and community picnics are memories fondly shared by residents. Some can even recall when thousands traveled to the Minnequa area for the Colorado State Fair – yes, Minnequa was the original site of the State Fair!
The City of Pueblo continues its diligent work to restore Minnequa’s outdoor recreational area. The City has cleared invading Tamarisk and Russian Olive trees from the shorelines of the lake. In 2008 basketball courts, a playground, park access road and a 2.75-mile trail around the lake where completed. In the fall of 2012 a 10-acre sports field complex was completed on the south end of the park. The sports fields, completed with the assistance of a National Football League grant through the Denver Broncos, are being used for many youth sports programs including the Pueblo Activities League youth football program involving over 1,000 participants, as well as a site for the Sunbelt Youth Soccer tournament played annually during the last weekend of February.
In 2013, the Pueblo Board of Water Works, in cooperation with the City will be installing a three-mile long pipeline from the St. Charles Reservoirs to Lake Minnequa that will transport freshening water help to maintain higher water levels in Lake Minnequa.
The cooperation between the City of Pueblo and PURA, combined with a community excited to see its neighborhood prominence restored, will surely be the successful ingredients in creating new memories for Pueblo’s south side residents.