Re-Imagine Play at Paco Sanchez Park

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is challenging currently accepted definitions of play and looking to re-think this activity as a unique, multi-faceted experience. Re-Imagine Play is an innovative concept that goes beyond the traditional playground (i.e. swings, slides and monkey bars). It is intended to be a multi-generational activity and play area that would give everyone using the park – from small children to older adults – an opportunity to remain active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. 

In identifying Paco Sanchez Park, which is located in West Denver, as the prime location for the re-imagine play project, DPR considered a number of factors, including:

  • A location with preexisting playground equipment in need of repair or replacement; 
  • A park big enough for a large play area that also is in an area of the city that is under-served when it comes to open space and park amenities; 
  • A location that is accessible through multi-modal transit options; 
  • A park that is located near an already existing recreation center;
  • A location in an area of the city where childhood obesity rates have become a growing issue.  

Read the press release on the selection of Paco Sanchez Park as the new site for the Re-Imagine Play Project.

The activity and play area will contain some traditional playground elements, but also will include custom-designed structures and landscapes to give more of a natural feel that encourages users to let their imaginations be their guide and create new and unique experiences every time they visit.

DPR, along with a consulting design team, will gather public feedback to help guide the final design and layout. Join the distribution list to be notified of project updates, public meetings and community events.

Project details

What is Re-Imagine Play?
Re-Imagine Play is a new and innovative concept that goes beyond the traditional playground (i.e. swings, slide and monkey bars). It is intended to be a multi-generational activity and play area that would give everyone using the park – from small children to older adults – an opportunity to remain active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.  It will contain some of the traditional playground elements, but also will include custom-designed structures and landscape to give more of a natural playscape feel that encourages users to let their imaginations be their guide and create new and unique experiences every time they visit.

Why was Paco Sanchez selected for this project?
There are various factors that have made Paco Sanchez a prime location for a Re-Imagine Play design. Particularly, Denver Parks and Recreation looked for a park with playground equipment in need of repair or replacement; a park that was located within a region with ‘underserved’ or ‘underutilized’ park amenities; a park accessible through multiple transit options including bus, train, bike and car; a park with 10 or more acres; and a park in close proximity to a recreation center.  In addition, Paco Sanchez Park is located in a part of Denver where childhood obesity is a growing concern.  Offering more opportunities to support a healthy, active lifestyle is a top priority for DPR and all City leaders.

Why did the project move from City Park?
When Parks and Recreation first set out with the City Loop project, our intent was to create a new, multi-generational activity and play area that would replace the existing Dustin Redd playground, which is in need of significant repair or replacement after nearly 20 years of use.  In December of 2013, we committed to going through a thorough process to gather feedback and input from the City Park community.  After attending our first stakeholder meeting it became clear that our goals for the project simply didn’t align with the needs and wants of the City Park community.  As such, we dropped the City Loop project at City Park and began looking for other locations around Denver that not only met the criteria outlined in the question above, but also is in a community shares our vision for re-imagining play and promoting a healthy, active lifestyle.

How much will it cost?
Very early estimates, based on the initial conceptual design, put the project at a total cost between approximately $3 - 5 million.  The design is still conceptual and will be revised in response to the new park site and the interests of local residents.  Until we have a final design it will be difficult to do anything more than estimate a total cost.  The park will most likely be built in two phases.  Ultimately, the total funding for this project will come from a combination of capital funds allocated by the City along with additional funds from community partners and, potentially, private donors. 

When will it be built?
The project is anticipated to be built in two phases. DPR is anticipating $2 million in capital funding for the project in 2014-15 and will look to raise the remaining funds through grants and other donations. DPR expects construction to begin in 2015. Additional elements will be added in a future phase as funding becomes available.

What are the specific components of this project?
Specific components of the project have not yet been determined. Denver Parks and Recreation, along with the designer, will create a design with feedback from the community.

What outreach has been done to date?
Councilwoman Susan Shepherd and Councilman Paul López have reached out in community to do some preliminary investigation on the community’s interest for a Re-Imagine Play project.  Denver Parks and Recreation has received letters of support from Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, the Sun Valley Homes Local Resident Council, Villa Park Neighborhood Association, West Colfax Association of Neighbors, West Colfax Business Improvement District and the Westridge Homes Local Resident Council. Two meetings have been held in the community to present the concept. 

How will the public be involved in this process?
Going forward, Denver Parks and Recreation will continue to hold public meetings and seek input from the community on various aspects of the design and the project.

What are the plans for parking? Where will it be located in the park?
How will the playground be maintained?
Exact plans for parking, maintenance, design and location within the park have not been determined at this point as we are very early in the planning process.  As we move forward these are all topics and issues that will be discussed with the community and we will look forward to hearing your input and incorporating your feedback into the planning and design.  With regard to maintenance, it is our desire to find ways of incorporating long-term maintenance needs into our fundraising efforts.

What will happen to the golf disc course?
The golf disc course will remain at Paco Sanchez Park and will be incorporated into the Re-Imagine Play design as appropriate. Some changes to the course may be necessary as the design is further developed, but our hope is to have a minimal overall impact on the existing course. 

Will the basketball courts be removed?
Depending on the design, the current location of the basketball courts may change, but they will remain an amenity within Paco Sanchez Park. 

How can I stay informed?
Individuals interested in staying informed on the developments of Paco Sanchez should stay in contact with their local Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO) or City Council Office.  In addition, please feel free to contact Denver Parks and Recreation directly via Facebook or email at parksandrecreation@denvergov.org and ask to be included on our distribution lists for information. Also, as the project planning and design process gets underway, information will be posted on this page.


Re-Imagine Play Public Outreach

Council Members Susan Shepherd (District 1) and Paul Lopez (District 3) reached out to the community in Spring 2014 to do a preliminary investigation on the community's interest for the Re-Imagine Play project. Denver Parks and Recreation received letters of support from Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corporation, Sun Valley Homes Local Resident Council, Villa Park Neighborhood Association, West Colfax Association of Neighbors, West Colfax Business Improvement District and Westridge Homes Local Resident Council.

July 9, 2014 Community Meeting

July 29, 2014 Community Meeting
Presentation - English
Presentation - Spanish

October 5, 2014 Community Event

November 12, 2014 Community Meeting 6:30-8:00 p.m. Eagleton Elementary

November 15, 2014 Community Meeting 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Location TBD

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Contact Us

Join DPR's Paco Sanchez email list to receive project updates, public meeting notices and event invitations. 


Email your questions:
parksandrecreation@denvergov.org 



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