Sep 3, 2020
Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation Happy Haynes, Councilwoman Jamie Torres (Dist. 3), Clerk and Recorder Paul López, and community members celebrated the opening of Phase II of Re-Imagine Play at Paco Sanchez Park, a community-supported 2017 Elevate Denver Bond project.
Re-Imagine Play is an innovative approach to playground design that goes beyond the traditional playground. Re-Imagine Play creates a multi-generational activity environment, giving all park users the opportunity to remain active through play and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. The communities surrounding Paco Sanchez Park are historically underserved in access to parkland and recreation amenities. The need for meaningful access to recreation coupled with overwhelming community support made Paco Sanchez Park the ideal location for this project.
“Re-Imagine Play is a creative and fun way to pay tribute to Denver’s history and honor a leader in the community,” said Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “The park design and play elements encourage children and families of all ages to engage in active and physically healthy activities.”
Located just west of Federal Boulevard and south of Colfax Avenue, the 30-acre park is named in honor of Colorado State Legislator, radio personality and Spanish radio station owner, Francisco "Paco" Sanchez. Re-Imagine Play incorporates a broadcasting theme based on the legacy of Paco Sanchez with a vibrant color palette to reflect the spirit of the neighborhood.
The intent of the park’s design is to encourage community gatherings of all kinds, with the opportunity to host festivals, live music performances, food trucks and more. The kiosk and community plaza will be the focal point of not just the park, but the entire community, providing a central meeting and event space for neighbors to come together and celebrate the diverse cultures of West Denver.
Re-Imagine Play design embraces the natural topography of the park and combines place-making and creative play elements to create a dynamic public space in an area of the city that lacks green space and other amenities. Near public transit, trails, affordable housing and the Corky Gonzales library, the completion of the park improvements build on recent investments in the neighborhood.
Designed by Dig Studio and constructed by PCL Construction Services, Re-Imagine Play is an innovative concept in playground design. Phase II of the project, funded through the Elevate Denver Bond, includes new play pods, ADA walking loop, kiosk building, community plaza, mist fountain, restrooms, outdoor classroom space, shade structures, Paco climber, basketball court, skate park, updated parking lot, stage, public art, picnic area, water quality area, native grass conversion area, landscaping, and irrigation improvements. Phase I of the project, completed in 2018, incorporates a Play Plateau area and portions of the Play Loop. This area features large custom climbing structures and play equipment that reflects Paco Sanchez’s musical background. The focal point is the Mic Tower, a large climbing structure that resembles a vintage microphone and stands over 30’ tall.