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Denver Parks and Recreation announces partnership with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to create “nature play” space in City Park

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced today a new partnership with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to redevelop the small playground area on the east side of City Park. The recently completed City Park Master Plan calls for the replacement of the small playground just south of the Museum. Before this partnership was established, this project from the Master Plan did not have a funding source. 

DPR has asked the Museum to use their expertise in informal learning, nature, science, fundraising and community engagement to lead the fundraising, design and construction of natural play spaces to replace the small playground near the Museum. The Museum has generously agreed and is looking forward to working on the project.

“This is a win-win for Denver Parks and Recreation, the Museum and, most importantly, our community of City Park users,” said Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “We were not expecting to be able to address this play space so soon and in conjunction with the redevelopment of the Dustin Redd Playground on the west side of the park.  Partnering with the Museum allows City Park users to benefit from the opening of two newly redesigned playgrounds within the next few years.”

“The Museum’s mission is to be a catalyst and ignite our community’s passion for nature and science. We are excited to be able continue that mission in our own backyard of City Park,” said George Sparks, president and CEO of the Museum.

The Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, which advises the department with respect to policy and operation, unanimously supported the joint effort.  “The partnership between Denver Parks and Recreation and the Museum is building upon the historic legacy of City Park and expanding it into the future,” said Jay Rust, Parks & Recreation Advisory Board member. 

The 2018 City Park Master Plan Update and City Park Design Guidelines will steer this project. A newly formed City Park Advisory Committee will review plans to ensure they adhere to the Master Plan Update and the Design Guidelines. DPR will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the play space.

The Museum incorporates audience engagement, evaluation and testing into its development of exhibits and programs. There will be a variety of opportunities for the community to tell the Museum what makes nature, science and play meaningful to them. These conversations, and the community input gathered during the City Park Master Plan Update, will shape the creation of the play spaces.

DPR and the Museum will host an Open House on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 9 a.m to 11 a.m., at the Museum, located at 2001 Colorado Blvd. Community members will learn more about this partnership and sign up to help provide input on the creation of these play spaces. Find out more about the Open House.