Heron Pond, Heller Open Space & Carpio Sanguinette Park

Aerial Rendering of Heron Pond future state


  • Landscaping and other exciting features are being installed at Heron Pond/Carpio Sanguinette Park as the construction of Phase 1 stormwater improvements comes to a close this spring. Be on the lookout for new trees, grasses and other plantings, along with log benches and landscape boulders.
  • While the site improvements look inviting, the park is not yet open to the public and will continue to be an active construction site through spring 2025. We ask the public to please respect the new seed and vegetation by keeping out of these areas in order to help with plant establishment.
  • Travel along E. 51st Ave. between Emerson St. and west to the alley remains one-way for eastbound local traffic only.

Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and Department of Parks and Recreation continues 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

After these stormwater infrastructure improvements in Heron Pond/Heller Open Space/Carpio-Sanguinette Park are complete in spring 2024 (Phase 1B), the park will remain closed through spring 2025 for Phase 2 construction of park improvements, including play structures, trails and landscaping. The pedestrian and bicycle connections to the regional S. Platte River Trail will be open during Phase 2 park construction.

The stormwater infrastructure improvements in this project are being installed along with the Globeville Levee Improvements along the South Platte River. Click here for more information about the Levee project.

Construction Timeline

  • June 2022: Mobilize for stormwater infrastructure construction
  • July 2022: Stormwater infrastructure construction begins
  • Spring 2024: Stormwater infrastructure construction complete
  • 2024: Phase 2 park improvements construction begins
  • 2025: Phase 2 park improvements construction complete

Download the construction phasing map(PDF, 138KB)

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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