Annual Kickball Tournament August 8 Celebrates Denver Days
As reported in the July Front Porch, SUN’s 12th annual kickball tournament will be held Saturday, Aug. 8 at Central Park. The date was selected to make it a part of the third annual Denver Days celebration happening citywide from August 1 to 9. Denver Days was created to help neighbors get to know each other and get involved with their communities.
Bluff Lake Nature Center to Be Recipient of Kickball Tournament Proceeds
The charity for this year’s event will be Bluff Lake Nature Center (BLNC). The namesake for Stapleton’s Bluff Lake Neighborhood in fall 2011, BLNC has been central to Stapleton’s green identity and lifestyle since Stapleton’s inception. BLNC is the largest open space managed for its native habitat in the city of Denver. Unusual because most similar open space is owned and managed by government entities, BLNC is owned and operated entirely by a community board of directors, primarily from Stapleton. An estimated 40,000 people per year walk, run, relax, or attend programs at BLNC, an amenity the likes of which few other communities have. BLNC is also known for its award-winning environmental education programming for local schools, as well as its year-round programming for the community like summer evening Fireside Chats, parent-preschool time, and their popular trick-or-treat trail. As arguably the most biodiverse habitat in the city of Denver, we are proud to support BLNC’s efforts to maintain one of the city’s true gems.
Northeast Community Co-op
One team signed up to play on the 8th is the Free Range Cluckers, a team of volunteers and members from the Northeast Community Co-op. Team member Thomas Spahr has never participated in the kickball tournament before, but is embracing this opportunity to build community among co-op members while enjoying one of Denver’s parks and getting some exercise. He says, “After months and months of hard work, the volunteers of the food co-op are grateful for this opportunity to celebrate and have some fun in the name of another great community endeavor. We love being part of an engaging, connected, and social neighborhood and we believe that our project will fit right in.”
Off the field, co-op volunteers are hard at work with recent developments including the upcoming annual meeting and board of directors election, their first-ever fall fundraising event, developing cross-town partnerships with other startup food co-ops, meeting with co-op community fund agencies, securing a site for Denver/Aurora’s first community-owned grocery store, and developing the brand concept for the store. After putting on the Rock the Co-Op event this spring, membership has grown to nearly 700 members. The co-op is currently seeking help in preparation for its first capital campaign and identifying potential investors, community members interested in serving on its board of directors, and of course, additional member-owner households. Depending on the site and continued member growth, the food co-op hopes to open its doors by the end of 2016 or early 2017. The planned store will be a full-service grocery of 10,000–12,000 square feet, specializing in locally sourced food, including fresh and organic produce. Its board of directors is currently exploring two possible sites in Aurora, with both sites sitting within one block of Stapleton. As the co-op is filling a void as expressed by Stapleton residents in multiple community surveys, SUN supports the co-op’s progress and efforts.
Next SUN Meeting, August 18
SUN’s next meetings will be Aug. 18 in the multipurpose room at the Central Park Rec Center, 9651 MLK Blvd. The outreach meeting from 6:30–7:30pm will have a transportation focus after updates from Denver police and the MCA; the SUN board meeting will follow from 7:30–9pm.