Community-led Brownfield to Open Space Project Closer to a Reality

More than 10 years ago, residents and members of the Globeville Civic Association No.1 approached Groundwork Denver about a unique bit of land (5.5 acres) where Alfalfa once grew and where horses were let out to run. The space also had a history of contamination, a result of historic smelting operations to the north. Residents had a vision for this that did NOT include dumping and other illegal activity, but instead a place where healthy activities would occur. More specifically, their vision is Platte Farm Open Space (PFOS): a recreational open space with a healthy short-grass prairie, trails, and picnic structures.

Over the last six months Groundwork Denver has made significant strides towards achieving this vision and thanks to Valerian LLC, a landscape architecture firm, the design for Platte Farm Open Space is currently going through the City’s ERA (Engineering, Regulatory, Analytics) process, which means that by the end of the year, the vision will be ready for implementation. There are other T’s to cross and I’s to dot outside of the ERA process, but in partnership with City Councilwoman Robin Kniech, City of Denver Parks and Recreation, and Xcel Energy, we are hopeful and finally at a point where the project is moving smoothly forward.

The years have involved a great deal of planning and visioning, with Groundwork Denver taking the lead to ensure the project stayed alive, not only because it was a priority of the community, but because the project was an opportunity to create healthy green space in a neighborhood that is surrounded by industry. Years of discussion about property ownership, maintenance, funding, and development requirements have led us to this exciting point. We are grateful for the community members who brought this open space to our attention and who have maintained confidence in us over these many years of planning. This project would not be happening if it weren’t for Globeville residents who saw the possibility of re-purposing a brownfield into a healthy open space. We are also thankful for the many city representatives who have supported us in this unique and unfamiliar undertaking.

Stay tuned to learn about our progress throughout the year!

For questions about Platte Farm Open Space please contact Tangier Barnes Wright at 303.455.5600 or tangier@groundworkcolorado.org.