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About Globeville Landing Outfall and Park

The Globeville Landing Outfall (GLO) project includes a redesign of Globeville Landing Park combined with a new storm water open channel connecting to the South Platte River. The overall project is referred to as an ‘outfall’ because this is the location where the storm water enters (or ‘outfalls’ to) the South Platte River. 

December 2019: Visit the Newly Expanded, Redesigned Globeville Landing Park!

Families looking for new and fun things to do and a place to take visitors over the holidays are encouraged to experience the newly redesigned 10.7-acre Globeville Landing Park. The park is located along the South Platte River in the Elyria Swansea neighborhood, northeast of Downtown Denver at 3901 Arkins Court. Denver completed a redesign of the park as part of a larger project to manage stormwater in the area and reduce flood risks.

The park was redesigned to incorporate the desires of the community gathered through a public input process. The park’s aesthetics have been greatly enhanced and many play features added, including:

  • Active Play Areas: Separate playgrounds for 2-5 year and 5-12-year age groups featuring a custom climbing wall, water/sand play and nature play provide numerous activities for children and families
  • Informal Play Areas: Two open grassy areas with good visibility provide opportunities for informal pickup games and activities
  • Outdoor Gathering Areas: Two shade structures with grills, picnic tables and seating provide places for people to gather and enjoy all the new park amenities
  • River Access: Accessible and convenient pathways provided to the river. A plaza was created at the river’s edge for small gatherings and outdoor education opportunities.
  • Connections: Access to the park from the regional trail and nearby streets was improved, allowing trail users to enjoy the new park.

Globeville Landing Park includes an outfall where stormwater naturally enters the South Platte River. The outfall to the Platte was recently improved to reduce flood risks in the area and added a new open, natural channel connecting to the South Platte River that provides new recreational space, water quality benefits, and opportunities to restore natural ecosystems that attract wildlife. The new stormwater system was operational in 2018 and work on the park wrapped up in October.

A new open channel design will help clean storm water naturally when possible and will move the water to its ultimate destination, the South Platte River. The project will include work to expand and redesign Globeville Landing Park, making it a more desirable park for the community by:

  • improving connectivity
  • reclaiming the concrete culvert as park land
  • adding a natural open channel with vegetation that will move storm water safely
  • improving the overall park design
 

proposed map of new park layout with amenities labeled

Planning for the Globeville Landing Outfall project began in summer 2015. The project will have two interrelated elements — drainage design and the park redesign.

Design for the drainage elements is now underway, including the detailed design of the pipes, open natural channel, and topography of the park.

Planning for the redesign of the park has also advanced, but is still in the concept planning phase. Public outreach efforts for the park have focused on understanding how area residents use the park today and how they would like to use the park in the future. Through this understanding, the team is developing concept park designs incorporating as many of the desires of the community as possible. Additional public outreach is planned for summer 2016 to examine ideas for the park’s use and how this will translate into a new park design. Once a single park design concept is identified and publicly reviewed, the project will advance to final design and construction.

The team has engaged with many local residents, businesses, park users, and other stakeholders since the project kicked off in summer 2015. We have heard constructive feedback which is informing the development of the draft park design concepts. Several of the key themes that have been expressed by stakeholders consistently include:

  • Create an active play area with a playground of some type
  • Create a grassy area for informal play (soccer, football, field games)
  • Provide multiple Bike/Pedestrian connections, connectivity from park to neighborhoods
  • Provide outdoor seating, grills, and shade as gathering places for families
  • Provide access and views of the river
  • Save trees and maintain the existing land forms within the park.
  • Provide restrooms
  • Improve safety—concern that the park currently has poor visibility and is isolated

Multiple public meetings, stakeholder interviews, focus groups, youth engagement events, etc. have provided a strong understanding of how important this park is today and how it can be improved to better serve the community.

Timeline of Completed Public Events »

Planning for the drainage elements of Globeville Landing Outfall began as part of the National Western Center master planning process. The idea of a natural open channel and water quality to create improved park space was considered through the National Western Center’s process. In the transition from planning to design, the Globeville Landing Outfall project was moved under the Platte to Park Hill Stormwater Systems program.

The drainage function of the Globeville Landing Outfall project is to safely and efficiently move storm water from approximately 40th Street and Blake Street to the South Platte River at Globeville Landing Park. This outfall is in a key location, where much of the water from the Montclair and Park Hill basins naturally enters the South Platte River. Because Globeville Landing Park was originally constructed to serve as both a park and a drainage outfall, much of the storm drainage pipes and facilities north and east of downtown Denver point toward the park today.

The Globeville Landing Outfall includes a combination of underground pipes and natural open areas to move storm water. At 40th and Blake streets storm water would enter a very large pipe to move the water under the commuter rail and freight railroad tracks northeast of Blake Street. Traveling northwest, the underground pipe crosses under a portion of the Pepsi facility and the Denver Coliseum parking lot. The pipe then rises to the surface and becomes a natural open drainage channel, on the southwest edge of the Coliseum parking lot.. The open, natural channel (no longer a pipe) passes through Globeville Landing Park making its way to the South Platte River.

The Globeville Landing outfall currently includes a pipe that delivers storm water into an open concrete lined and fenced channel. As part of the Globeville Landing Outfall project, the concrete lined and fenced channel will be replaced with the open, natural channel in a new alignment.  Both the existing outfall from the Coliseum parking lot and the new outfall will deliver storm water through the open natural channels. These two channels will join to form a single open channel in the park before it meets the South Platte River.

Open drainage systems in the form of natural open channels are considered national best practices to manage storm water. These channels also provide opportunities to help naturally clean storm water as it flows through the natural open channel (referred to as ‘water quality’); restore natural ecosystems; create wildlife connections; and better control storm water to improve safety.

The current concrete drainage channel will be replaced with a natural open channel. By enhancing the drainage system, trails and vegetation can be incorporated to provide an attractive and safe space for people to commute and recreate. The vegetation will enhance the habitat for wildlife, while allowing water to filter through to naturally clean the water and improve water quality. Excess nutrients in the storm water (fertilizer/plant food) will be taken up by vegetation in and around the Globeville Landing open channel and other channels upstream to deliver cleaner water to the South Platte River.

In general, water-borne bacteria need water to stay alive. Open channels expose water borne pathogens to sunlight and prevent them from proliferating. At Globeville Landing, storm water will remain separate from area ground water thanks to a stable, impermeable lining installed three feet below the finished open channel. Open channels are generally safer than large underground pipes as they slow and control storm water across wider channels and gentler banks.