Denver City Council ayes spending $170,000 toward new park

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Posted Sun, Oct 26, 2014

In response to plans for removing the animals the committee admitted to not being able to move them from the area, but assured the council that every effort will be made to dispose of them in the most humane way possible.

Animal rights activists maybe interested in proper prairie dog removal on the proposed open space site. The Denver City Council says every effort will be made to dispose of them in the most humane way possible. [Photo by Melissa Romero]

DENVER– Creating new parks in a city is not an easy task. However, it is one that the Denver Parks and Recreation Department is committed to accomplishing.

On Wednesday Oct. 22, City Council members voted unanimously to appropriate $170,000 towards a new open space in the quadrant off of Allbrook Drive. The 5.5 acre area will include a playground, trails and an environmental education center where children of the area can learn about stewardship of natural resources as well as get training in leadership and service.

“The plan is to provide wrap around integrated services for this community,” says Stacie Gilmore of Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK). “We want to cultivate a passion for science in children who have historically been marginalized. We want to teach them to be good stewards and put lessons and experiences into a good model.”

The plan highlighted the goal of partnership with the city and nonprofits as well as how the neighborhood is engaged in the process. “Brown fields detract from the community,” says Gordon Robertson of Parks and Recreation. “We enjoy taking these areas and turning them into beautiful spaces.”

Residents of the proposed area have differing opinions with the benefits associated with such a project.

“I think it’s a fine idea,” said Charles Smith, a 10-year resident of the area. “The children need a place like this.”

One only has to look directly behind the field to see where the controversy lies. The only current available parking space is shared with a marijuana dispensary and liquor store.

“How can they have kids right next to the dispensary?” asked John, who declined to give his last name. Manager of Golden Meds, he says, “this is a terrible idea.”

John’s employee Rachel Samson, who also lives in the area, describes the surroundings as a hub for drunk, stoned and vagrant individuals.

“I live just down the block and the playgrounds at my apartments are rarely used by children. Mostly grown people smoking their bud,” Samson said. “This area is not very kid friendly.”

Samson also described the dispensary’s clientele as being from out of town and who may be staying in 420 unfriendly hotels. “They ask us all the time where they can go smoke,” she said. “This will only give them a nice green space to go do it in.”

Other possible groups that might object to the new open space are animal rights activists interested in proper prairie dog removal.

In response to plans for removing the animals the committee admitted to not being able to move them from the area, but assured the council that every effort will be made to dispose of them in the most humane way possible.

“They will provide valuable nutrients to the soil,” Gilmore said. They were then advised to handle this process very quietly.

The meeting wrapped up with a formal request for the funds and was passed with vehement ayes.

About Melissa Romero

Melissa Romero is a Denver-area photojournalist and freelance writer.

View all posts by Melissa Romero

4 Responses to “Denver City Council ayes spending $170,000 toward new park”

  1. Emily Says:

    Great job of describing what is going on. Also good job at capturing both sides of the story.

    Reply

  2. Joseph Rios Says:

    Good details, I like your photo too!

    Reply

    • Marge Says:

      Pour tous ceux qui ont, à mon sens, des réactions plus que démusurés sur cette maintenance de quelques heures :ça ne vous choque pas que votre bien-être soit à ce point dépendant du focinnotnement de serveur à l’autre bout de la planète ?Sortez et relativisez

      Reply

  3. Kelsey Hammond Says:

    I liked this story. I found it informative as well.

    Reply

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