City Park neighbors are relishing in a long-fought defeat against Denver Parks and Recreation to stop the City Loop Project.
The 13-acre $5-million project will no longer go in City Park, and officials are looking at locations further west, Denver Parks and Recreation manager Lauri Danemiller announced in March.
“I’m exceptionally happy,” said John Van Sciver, a nearby park resident and head of City Park Friends and Neighbors, a Registered Neighborhood Organization he started to deal specifically with issues regarding City Park.
Along with the Stop City Loop group, other RNO’s, and concerned individuals, Van Sciver rallied enough support to make Denver Parks and Recreation to reconsider the project, which was a done deal, according to Councilman Albus Brooks earlier this year.
Van Sciver said Denver Parks and Recreation told residents several times the project would not be decided by neighbors. “The way it was handled by parks and rec made people mad.”
The project would get rid of the worn-out Dustin Redd playground at the west end of the park and build a play superstructure fully equipped with super-sized swings, artificial rain, giant tunnels and more. Planners envisioned it as a “regional attraction,” which opponents feared.
Traffic and noise were major concerns. The City Park Friends and Neighbors say sometimes less is more and have vouched for replacing the Dustin Redd playground with a play area of the about the same footprint to leave green space and avoid crowds. This is a viable option now, according to Van Sciver.
“I like the quietness of City Park,” he says. His favorite activities in the park are cross-country skiing and walking around the lake. He is relieved he can continue those without the City Loop “monopolizing” the area.
Denver Parks and Recreation plans to maintain the Dustin Redd playground for a year to a year and a half before possibly building a new play structure. Neighbors a part of the Stop City Loop initiative hope Denver Parks and Recreation will consider a restoration like the St. Andrews playground in New York.