Jun 1, 2015
Mayor Michael B. Hancock today, joined by city officials and community members, celebrated the renovation of Johnson Habitat Park, the first environmental education-focused park in Denver.
Located on the west side of the South Platte River near Alameda Avenue and Jason Street,Johnson-Habitat Park is a premier environmental education and play experience that includes an outdoor classroom, climbing platforms, rock sculptures, sand play and supervised camping for youth-focused nonprofit programs. It also comprises a signature concrete jetty, stone amphitheater and fire pit along the river’s edge, as well as enhancements to the South Platte River Trail including an expanded bike path and soft surface pedestrian trail.
Denver, in partnership with the Greenway Foundation, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is helping remake Grant-Frontier, Overland, Vanderbilt and Johnson-Habitat Park into wilderness-in-the city spaces. There will also be improvements made to three miles of the South Platte trail between and extending past the parks.
“Denver takes great pride in having one of the best urban park systems in America, and investing in our river corridor is one of the best investments we can make,” Mayor Hancock said. “The newly renovated Johnson Habitat Park brings us one step closer to realizing the vision of making the South Platte River accessible to all residents and visitors and adds to Denver’s outdoor recreation opportunities.”
Today’s ceremony marks the completion of the second of five projects in the River Vision Implementation Plan, encompassing over $25 million in planning, design or construction phases along the entire 10-mile area of the South Platte River.
The creation of a new park in the Sun Valley neighborhood adjacent to Weir Gulch was completed in October 2014. Redesign of Grant Frontier and Pasquinel’s Landing Parks, trail enhancements and improvements to Confluence Park are scheduled for completion over the course of the next year.
“The River Vision Implementation Plan is fundamental to improving the ecological health and sustainability of the River Corridor,” said Lauri Dannemiller, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “Johnson-Habitat Park’s transformation is a significant new recreation destination and outdoor classroom along the South Platte River.”
Johnson-Habitat Park will also serve as the headquarters for the Greenway Foundation's SPREE (South Platte River Environmental Education) program and will be the site of one of SPREE's summer camp locations as well as a number of other Greenway Foundation events and programs.
Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) facilities are unrivaled in the Rocky Mountain West. The DPR system spans over a 146-year history, from the first park created in 1868 to nearly 20,000 acres of urban parks and mountain parkland today.