Located in Five Points, Denver is the St. Charles Place Park, a 1.2 acre area seated between the Cole community, a local RiNo light rail station, and the St. Charles Recreation Center. Despite its size and prominence, it went ignored for decades. Then known as a “run-down crackpot” location, the St. Charles Place Park consistently lost out on amenities and renovations to newer projects.
Tired of seeing sums of money going to new community projects, even other parks, while the St. Charles Place Park still layed inactive, the community youth banded together in deliberate action. Now known as the Five Points Youth Ambassadors, a subgroup of the GLO Ambassadors Program built of seven St. Charles community members, these youth became the face of their community. The first step: a community event, meant to bring together all interested parties into a project planning session. But a project for the community, by the community couldn’t simply be a boardroom session; through months of tireless planning, the Five Youths Youth Ambassadors created a community celebration, attended by over 100 community members.
From the comments of the community came a modern interpretation of the area. Once-drab structures were replaced by bright ambience, represented by nature-play log designs, giraffe-swings, and colorful murals. Representing both the rise of the community and the growth that comes from youth inclusion, a side design depicts a caterpillar as it transitions to a butterfly.
After years of dedicated work, the Five Points Youth Ambassadors built a haven representative of their community, with a vividity and spirit alike to their own. To celebrate the reopening of the park, the Five Points Youth Ambassadors set free butterflies. While the process took time, like the butterflies in the mural, the St. Charles Place Park finally bloomed in its full glory.