The FPYA was recognized at the American Society of Landscape Architects’ annual awards. They won in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion category.
Even with several private donations to the project, there was still a shortfall. It was determined that if Pioneer Landscape Centers donated the landscaping materials, they would be close to their fundraising goal of $150,000. Since giving up wasn’t an option, the FPYA organized community “build days” and gathered volunteers to support the effort. They received overwhelming support from Denver Parks and Recreation who supplied planting equipment and RiNo Beer Garden who supplied food for the attendees. The Greater Greener Conference had 30 volunteers join the community, Ambassadors, and other team members to complete the planting, mulching, and site cleanup before the grand opening.
After years of hard work and months of construction, it came the time to finally present the St. Charles Place Park to the Five Points community. A momentous occasion representing the achievments of the FYPA and the community as a whole was presented from the top of the new staircase connecting the Industry RiNo building and St. Charles Place Park. The grand opening showcased speeches from the FYPA and Mayor Hancock.
Instead of a ribbon cutting, the symbolic release of butterflies as Laviana and Zariah slid down the slide to honor Khobi was the official opening of the park.
The last stage needed to complete the desired park for the community was raising the funds necessary for construction. This would lead to the team’s next chapter in planning fundraisers. The FPYA found great success, not only with finding donors, but creating partnerships with multiple groups as they too began to believe in this new form of youth advocacy and community representation. Denver Parks Trust, Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, and Valerian Landscape Architects, and Industry RiNo Station made significant contributions during this phase of the project.
After taking all the gathered data from the community and collaborating with all design and construction experts, it was time to unveil the design renderings of the new park to the neighborhood. This was done in the FPYA’s second community event, held in the St. Charles Place Park, as a last celebration of the old park and a symbol of next steps for the community space. There were a multitude of activities, ranging from tricycle races, a face painting table, volleyball games, and more. The FYPA took the opportunity to thank all attendees and to inform them of all the changes to the park and requesting their continued support. The event ended when the community gathered to enjoy a movie and snacks. This was a huge milestone, not only for the team, but for the community.
FPYA works closely with many companies to make the community’s visions a reality.
They worked with Iron Horse Architects to design the park entry ways.
Michael Ford and Pioneer Landscape Centers invited the Ambassadors to select the materials used for pathways and natural play components within the new park. The team also met with Adam Bienenstock from Bienenstock Natural Play who discussed the science behind natural play, and showed the Ambassadors a variety of options that they could use in their park.
Stacey Stickler and Will Kern from Valerian Landscape Architecture worked closely with the Ambassadors showing them design concepts and alternatives to fit within the budget. The Ambassadors were able to create the park that they envisioned using standard design development techniques.
Taking the data gathered from their first community meeting, the FPYA began to formulate the groundwork for what the new St. Charles Place Park and the connection to Industry RiNo Station would look like. During this period the Ambassadors learned how to lead design development meetings, evaluate budgets, and make critical design decisions. Eventually, they would face many hurdles on the journey to making the best park they could for their community. Such hurdles ranged from underground water lines to telephone and electric wire relocations which affected design and budget decisions.
After being tasked with community outreach ranging from social media posts to door-to-door outreach, the FPYA led their first community outreach meeting in Industry RiNo Station and had an audience of over 100 community members, each one advocating for changes they sought for the park and parking lot. The FPYA was responsible for every aspect of the meeting, from public speaking to data collection. It was a huge success, even attracting important city leaders like Mayor Hancock, Jason Winkler, and Happy Haines, with each giving their stamp of approval. This success opened the team’s eyes to the importance of community and their work.
TGF’s Executive Director, Jeff Shoemaker, champions two local/regional ballot measure to secure additional, ongoing and much needed funding for Metro Denver’s rivers, creeks, and streams.
The core group of the FPYA was solidified near the end of 2017. Over time, the team learned the fundamentals of public speaking, professional meetings, and gauging ideas for community engagement from their leaders and mentors.
A group of youth gathered at the St. Charles Recreation Center to gauge their interest in meeting with their new neighbors in Industry RiNo Station to discuss improvements to the St. Charles Place Park. Sloane Bullecks with Denver Parks and Recreation and Susan Brown with Valerian landscape architects formed a partnership with the youth of St. Charles and the growing minds of the occupants in Industry RiNo Station. After creating their partnership, the discussion of rebuilding the mutual space of the park and the connection between the two buildings began.
Khobi Eiland was a friend of the Ambassadors, killed due to gang violence just as they were beginning to talk about the renovation of the park.
As community youth Ambassadors, they dedicated their hard work to creating the opportunity for a safe place for everyone in the neighborhood to enjoy. Khobi had a daughter named Laviana who was born at almost the same time as Ambassador, Tomas Salazar, became a father to Zaraiah. We all hope that both girls will grow up to love this park and play together in a safe space.
TGF combines efforts with Frog Creek Partners to promote the installation of gutter bins in stormwater collection devices throughout Colorado which prevent over 90% of solid waste and over 50% of liquid waste from entering stormwater systems, reducing waste dumped into the South Platte watershed.
Denver Urban Waterways Study is officially authorized by Congress and the President in December of 2020. TGF, the City and County of Denver and the Mile High Flood District join forces to create the City’s first One Water Plan.
The final phase of the Downtown Children’s Playground is completed and named for Paul and Carol Ann Rothman – LoDo residents and the signature advocates and supporters of the DCP.
Four exciting new park/plaza projects along the River become reality: River North Park, River North Promenade, Globeville Landing and Heron Pond/Carpio-Sanguinette. TGF engages with the National Western Center project to re-imagine this historic riverside property directly along the river.
The Chatfield Reallocation Project is completed and initial water storage opportunities begin. TGF and Denver Water, along with 18 other partners, obtain the needed funding for the final amount of the Chatfield Reservoir Environmental Pool.
The inaugural Clean Water Challenge (CWC) takes place in collaboration with Metropolitan State University of Denver’s One World One Water Center, leading to the winning design by MSU students with the creation of a trash collection device known as Nautilus.
Joe Shoemaker, Founder of The Greenway Foundation, passes away on his 88th birthday, August 13, 2012.
The first South Platte RiverFest brings people from all backgrounds together at Confluence Park. The Greenway Leadership Corp (GLC) begins work helping high school students learn more about the environment and become active community members. The Friends of Greenway (FrOG) recurring donation campaign launches to provide additional ways to support the work of The Greenway Foundation.
TGF celebrates its 40th anniversary on June 16, 2014, and the Reception on the River fundraising event celebrates its 10th anniversary. TGF continues to partner in the creation of new Riverside improvements including Grant Frontier Park, Pasquinels Landing, Overland River Corridor, Johnson-Habitat Park and Confluence Park.
Two United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project studies hit full stride, with a shared goal of benefitting over nine miles of the South Platte River in Denver as well as two of the river’s tributaries – Harvard and Weir Gulches. The Clear Creek Greenway Master Plan focuses on the 14 miles of the Creek in Clear Creek County.
In 2011, TGF hosted a new signature event – Gala on the Bridge – located on the 19th Historic Bridge. An increased focus on improving the quality of the stream flow in the watershed launches PURE (Protect our Urban River Environment). Community volunteer events increase and SPREE continues to expand both during the academic year as well as summer camps involving high school aged River Rangers as well as weekend family-focused events. Art on the River, in partnership with Art Students League, engages artists from around the Metro Denver community to create works of art celebrating the South Platte River.
Over 80 kindergarten-fifth graders help local artist Emanuel Martinez create the first three panels of the “Confluent People” Mural along Little Raven Boulevard underneath the Speer Boulevard overpass. Subsequently, Mr. Martinez creates a mural of Chief Little Raven along the walls of Cherry Creek near Confluence Park, This mural commemorates the history of the indigenous people who lived along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. This mural represents Chief Little Raven’s advocation for peace amongst all peoples.
The dream for the Downtown Children’s Playground is realized.
New goals include the Chatfield Reservoir Reallocation Project with a goal to increase the ability to store additional water for both municipal and environmental benefits. CityWild partners with TGF to engage youth through rafting and community efforts connected to the River. Partnerships with Art Students’ League bring Confluence Concerts and Art on the River. The River Vision Implementation Plan is created and endorsed through a Proclamation by Denver City Council. Cherry Creek Stewardship Partners joins with TGF to further solidify its efforts. TGF initiates a visioning plan for Westerly Creek in Denver. The Mile High Mile event launches with a strong focus on youth participation.
Downtown partners complete and celebrate improvements along the river in central Denver. New park and open space opportunities expand—including Commons Park, City of Cuernavaca Park, Centennial Gardens and adjacent residential and commercial development projects.
Cherry Creek South Greenway continues to progress. The Denver Skate Park is completed and the Downtown Children’s Playground project is launched. TGF proudly receives the Rudy Bruner Silver Medal Award for its three-decade efforts to reclaim the South Platte River watershed.
The Greenway Preservation Trust campaign launches to provide increased long-term financial sustainability for TGF – co-chaired by former U.S. Senator Bill Armstrong and former State Representative Morgan Smith.
Confluence Park’s Shoemaker Plaza receives an upgrade and plans get underway for the Denver Skate Park. Mayor Wellington Webb receives the 2000 Greenway Foundation Friend of the River Award.
TGF, in partnership with Mayor Wellington Webb, launches “Punt the Creek”, which later is evolved/re-named as “Venice on the Creek” – bringing a tourism boating attraction to Cherry Creek in Lower Downtown.
Mayor Webb announces the formation of the South Platte River Commission stating that his administration’s top priority in 1996 is the river.
Work continues on waterway and park projects throughout the Metro Denver area and beyond. Colorado’s Ocean Journey, now Downtown Denver Aquarium launches its goal of being located on the river. The Platte River Trolley celebrates its 10th Anniversary.
River and park projects continue to expand and flourish and the community comes out on behalf of the river in a large-scale volunteer-based engagement project known today as Stewardship Day.
Both SPREE and the Trail Ranger program continue to expand while the entire area celebrates the completion of Cherry Creek South Greenway in the Town of Parker. Volunteer Days along the river are bolstered by the support of Coors Brewing Company. Exciting improvements come to Overland Pond Park, bringing better and healthier fishing conditions.
TGF joins forces with the Denver Rail Heritage Society to bring a historic trolley to the west bank of the South Platte River in the heart of Denver, providing a fun, educational experience to citizens of all ages.
TGF and REI begin a partnership for a volunteer-based river clean-up project and join with Urban Drainage & Flood Control District (UDFCD) and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) to initiate multi-faceted projects along the South Platte River.
Johnson-Habitat Park gets improvements, including a training center for Denver Area Boy Scouts, and progress on Cherry Creek South Greenway continues.
TGF leads efforts to begin work on the Cherry Creek South Greenway, a 25 mile section of the Creek between Castlewood Canyon and Cherry Creek State Parks.