Coming up this Monday, April 24, 2023, a Grand Junction, Colorado park, normally bustling with activity, is suddenly going to look like a ghost town. Why does everyone suddenly disappear?

This happened last year, and the people of Grand Junction were deeply concerned. Dozens of residents of Grand Junction's Whitman Park suddenly evaporated into thin air. Well, it's going to happen again. Here's what's going on.

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Where Did Everybody Go?

Do you remember when this happened last year? Early last November (2022) the entire population of Whitman Park, the public park on the 400 block between Ute and Pitkin, suddenly disappeared without a trace. Well, for their next magic trick, the powers-that-be in Grand Junction are going to make the same thing happen again.

Whitman Park Grand Junction Closed
Waylon Jordan

No Delicate Way To Say It

To be blunt, Whitman Park is the place where a large population of Grand Junction's vagrants hangs out. On any given day you'll see a few dozen tents set up throughout the park, and on a good day, 30 to 40 people residing in the area.

On November 2 of last year, the park was suddenly empty. Not a soul in sight. Bright orange road cones adorned the park, and a few police cars were spotted on the west side. Many in the valley assumed the police had stormed the park and evacuated the residents.

Whitman Park 1
Waylon Jordan

Why Does Everyone Suddenly Evacuate Whitman Park?

This has nothing to do with the zombie apocalypse. There's no plague or medical crisis to speak of. Put simply, police require the residents of the park to vacate so that they don't get soggy.

A "News Flash" from the City of Grand Junction reads:

The City of Grand Junction will close Whitman Park from 8 a.m. Monday, April 24 until 8 a.m. on Monday, May 1, 2023, as Parks and Recreation staff begin annual seasonal maintenance of local parks.


Routine maintenance is conducted at all city parks and in some locations maintenance work is more efficient and safer when the parks are empty. The work at Whitman Park will include turning on the water, trimming trees, and fertilizing among other maintenance tasks.


In addition to notices posted in the park, visitors to Whitman Park are being notified about the closure by city housing staff and Grand Junction Police Department Community Services Officers. Information about local resources will also be made available to everyone who is contacted.

Backstory On Grand Junction's Whitman Park

There was a time in Grand Junction's history when Whitman Park was known as Maple Park. According to the Post Independent, that was back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The name was officially changed to Whitman Park on August 1, 1917. According to Zebulon Miracle of the Museum of Western Colorado, the new name was in remembrance of a missionary by the name of Marcus Whitman who used to travel through this part of the United States in the 1800s.

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Ready to get out and enjoy some time in the park this year? Grand Junction parks are a great place to enjoy fun outdoors. Many of them have basketball hoops, trails, playground equipment, picnic tables, and restrooms. Scroll on to take a closer look at 33 Grand Junction city parks ranked from smallest to largest by acres (not including skate parks or boat launches).

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