Heron Pond, Heller Open Space & Carpio Sanguinette Park



  • Emerson St. between E. 51st and E. 52nd, and the E. 51st Ave Bridge are open.
  • E. 51st Ave. from Emerson St. east to the 51st Ave. Bridge was re-paved in late December 2022. A new multi-use asphalt path was constructed on the south side of E. 51st between Washington St. and Emerson St. connecting to the new 51st sidewalk from Emerson to the National Western Complex.

Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and Department of Parks and Recreation are starting work in Heron Pond, Heller Open Space, and Carpio-Sanguinette Park to build stormwater quality upgrades and begin park improvements. Construction includes:

  • Grading the area for stormwater detention
  • Stormwater outlet structures to slowly release stormwater to the river
  • Two forebays (sediment traps) and a trash vault to improve stormwater quality
  • Sanitary sewer and waterline improvements
  • Park trails and a nature overlook
  • Improved ecological connections and habitat restoration
  • Paving of Emerson Street and part of E. 51st and 52nd Avenues
  • Two parking lots 

Construction Timeline

  • June 2022: Mobilize for construction
  • July 2022: Construction begins
  • End of 2023: Construction complete

Download the construction phasing map(PDF, 261KB)

Graphic map of construction area in Heron Pond beginning July 2022

Master Plan Information

Master Plan Documents

Project Background

The Heron Pond Master Plan shapes ideas for how the property can:

  • Improve wildlife habitat, community access and safety
  • Enhance connections to the South Platte River corridor and surrounding neighborhoods
  • Unify Heron Pond Natural Area, Heller Open Space, Northside Park, and adjacent city properties 

Portions of the master plan area are located within the Asarco Globe Cleanup Site. The properties have been remediated to remove or contain the contamination. Denver’s Department of Environmental Health participated in the master planning process to ensure recommendations built on the health and safely of the overall site conditions. Thoughtful development of the master plan allowed for a variety of recreational opportunities and natural experiences, while ensuring the environmental remediation's integrity. 

Initial project goals and desired outcomes:

  • Provide residents with connections to the site’s natural areas and recreational amenities
  • Create opportunities for urban youth to participate in environmental education
  • Improve river ecosystem health through habitat restoration and innovative water systems
  • Enhance visibility and connections between Heron Pond and embankments along the South Platte River
  • Provide opportunities for residents to share the history of Heron Pond, Heller Open Space, Northside Park and the South Platte River
  • Engage the communities to unify the various areas within the site into one open space vision that addresses the desires of the community
  • Leverage/complement adjacent redevelopment
  • Position the plan for resourceful and strategically phased implementation and identify early improvements

Master Plan Boundaries

Master Plan boundaries for Heron Pond, Heller Open Space and Carpio-Sanguinette Park

Project Renderings


Aerial rendering of project area

Aerial rendering of Heron Pond, Heller Open Space and Carpio-Sanguinette Park

Pavilion rendering

Rendering of pavilion at Heron Pond

Pavilion rendering

Rendering of pavilion at Heron Pond

Playground rendering

Rendering of playground at Heron Pond

Public Meeting Archive

Community Open House
Thursday, February 23, 2023
4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Project Angel Heart
4950 Washington Street, Denver

An in-person community open house was held on February 23, 2023 where project managers from the following projects were available to answer questions and provide updates:

  • Heron Pond Stormwater Improvements at 51st Avenue – Project Update
  • 48th Avenue Greenway – Project Update
  • Washington Street Design & Construction: 47th Ave to 52nd Ave – Corridor design plan updates and amenity zone concepts

Please contact Kat Hill (kat@ovllc.com) or Chris Callanan (christopher.callanan@denvergov.org) with questions.

Map of North Washington Street from 47th Avenue to 52nd Avenue



1401 E. 54th Ave, Denver, CO 80216, Denver 80216  View Map

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