My local A to Z Challenge continues with our oldest remaining municipal park, City Park. The land was first purchased in 1874 (one year after Fort Collins became Fort Collins) by sheep rancher John Sheldon. Workers dug a lake, and the excavated dirt was used to form a hill to the east. It was formerly known as Knobb Hill but has for years been called Firecracker Hill because it's the best place to sit and...need I say it?...watch the 4th of July fireworks.
In 1904, the area also became home to Prospect Park, a harness racing and rodeo ground. In 1907, the city purchased 62 acres of the Sheldon Ranch. Professor B.O. Longyear laid out the park grounds, and in 1912, it was officially named City Park. In 1913, the city purchased Prospect Park as an addition to City Park, and that land is now home to the City Park Nine Golf Course.
Beloved by families, sun-bathing co-eds, and extraordinarily bold squirrels, the park is beautiful in every season. Plus, it's the only park I've seen with a replica of the Statue of Liberty, which stands as a pledge of "everlasting fidelity and loyalty." (And, yes, she's slightly smaller than the one back east.) City Park turns 100 this year, and the city plans to commemorate the park's centennial with a big 4th of July celebration.