Park & Facility Projects

With the responsibility for keeping the parks and facilities of in the best condition for visitor use, the Department must continually maintain, upgrade, and replace its park landscape and facility improvements. At any given time, there are dozens of park design and construction projects in progress to maintain, improve, and expand the park system. The Capital Projects staff consists of skilled project managers that assemble design teams, prepare design and construction documents, competitively bid and oversee the site construction process.

Planning and Construction Projects

In 2007, Denver voters passed the Better Denver Bond program in which $11 million dollars was appropriated for land acquisition and design services for the Central Denver Recreation Center. After a year of research on various sites in the area, the location selected for the new recreation center was Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street. Learn more...

Find more project details on Re-Imagine Play at

PORT Architecture + Urbanism/Indie Architecture developed the “City Loop” concept. The City will now work to put a contract in place with the PORT/Indie team and begin organizing a broad stakeholder group to move the project forward.

Indie Architecture is a Denver based office that designs buildings, books, and exhibitions worldwide. As an alternative to mainstream, mass produced, and corporately funded architecture, the office embraces its fringe status, is associated with collegiate backpack intellectualism, and consistently seeks new ways of disseminating architectural and urban ideas. 

Paul Andersen founded Indie in 2008. He teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has previously been on the architecture faculties of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Cornell University. He has also been a guest curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and is the author of The Architecture of Patterns(W.W. Norton, 2010). Paul is a licensed architect (NCARB Cert., CA, CO, NY).

While Indie's projects are located around the world and take a variety of forms—including buildings, books, and exhibitions—there are threads that connect them. 

Thematically, the office promotes dissemination as the driving force of 21st century urban and architectural design. Projects as diverse as suburban houses, retail environments, institutional buildings, and cultural programming evolve new forms of the dispersed growth that characterizes contemporary cities. Indie is developing an agenda for disseminated architecture through academic research and an emerging series of projects in the US and Europe.

Strategically, Indie approaches design projects from multiple points of view, making connections between seemingly disparate enterprises. For example, a building integrates plant life, heating systems, and graffiti. A book examines the practices of Peruvian weavers along with the mathematics of crystal formations. An exhibition introduces weight loss as an issue of contemporary art. The office advocates energy efficiency in some circumstances while extolling the benefits of energy use in others.

Indie architecture approaches each project with a mix of curiosity, intellectualism, and experience that allows the office to continually expand and improve its expertise.

Read more about Indie Architecture here.

PORT Architecture + Urbanism is a leading-edge urban design and research practice based in Chicago. Established by Christopher Marcinkoski and Andrew Moddrell as a speculative urban research collaboration, PORT has evolved into one the most innovative urban design consultancies operating in the U.S. today. The work looks to leverage the latent potentials embedded within a diverse range of urban circumstances to produce new forms of collective space and urban public realm.

Though the professional practice was formally established in 2009, the partners bring a significant body of expertise and experience from prior senior-level positions at James Corner Field Operations of New York as well as Garofalo Architects and UrbanLab of Chicago. In addition to leading PORT A+U, Mr. Marcinkoski and Mr. Moddrell each hold academic appointments, at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois-Chicago, respectively.

Read more about Port Architects   

See original concept here.

Design Competition History

Johnson Habitat Park is scheduled to open in June 2015!

Genesee Park Improvement Plan

The City and County of Denver Parks and Recreation Department is developing an implementation plan for the Genesee Park and Katherine L. Craig Mountain Park properties. The purpose of this plan is to define appropriate uses for these properties, which will be based on a natural resource and facilities assessment, interviews with stakeholders and other efforts to understand visitor needs. The result will be an integrated trails and park improvements plan, which will include sustainable strategies for long term management of natural resources and visitor use.

The plan is intended to create an overall vision for the future of recreation and preservation for the Genesee Park and Katherine L. Craig Tract properties. Furthermore, this plan will identify standards, prioritize projects, and refine strategies for implementing and monitoring this vision.

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the creation of the Mountain Park system, and Genesee Park was the first park established in the system. It is fitting to unveil a new park plan for Genesee, as well as the Katherine L. Craig Tract, on the year of this notable anniversary.

Final Plan

Hentzell Park is designated a natural area due to its native vegetation, wildlife habitat and community connections.

The Denver Real Estate Office and Denver Public Schools (DPS) are currently negotiating a proposed land swap that includes 11.5 acres of land located near E. Girard and S. Havana St. Two and a half acres are in the City’s real estate portfolio and the difference of nine acres is located in the Hampden Heights Open Space (Hentzell Natural Area) which is part of Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR). The 11.5 acres will be traded for a 40,000 sq. ft. office at 1330 Fox St.. This is intended to be the future site of the City’s Domestic Violence Center which has been a high priority for Mayor Michael B. Hancock since his election in 2011. In turn, Denver Public Schools will turn the 11.5 acre parcel into a new Southeast school, funded through the school bond which was passed in the November election.

The land swap contract was approved at Denver City Council on April 1, 2013.

The RVIP overview encompasses all of the recommendations from the 2008 River North Greenway Master Plan (RINO) and the 2009 River South Greenway Master Plan (RISO) into a series of prioritized short term, mid term and long term projects.

-Part 1    - Part 2

Confluence Park
   -Community Input
   -Plans and Sketches
   -Park Use Areas

Grant Frontier Park
   -Rendering 1
   -Rendering 2

Sun Valley Community Park
   -Master Plan (Plan View)

   -News Release, 1/19/2012

River North Park Master Planning
Creating a community with a focus on the South Platte River is a unique opportunity in northern Denver.  The concept design for the River North Park is an opportunity to showcase this unique part of Denver and create a recreational focal point for this area.  This park and associated improvements are a critical entry point to the South Platte River Greenway. 

Comments and questions on this planning effort may be directed to David Marquardt, Denver Parks Planning, Design & Construction at

See September 15, 2011 Presentation here.
See November 15, 2011 Presentation here.

The Ruby Hill Master Plan Phase II will be a two part project. The first part will be to develop a 60% plan set for the entire park. The scope of Part 1 will include pedestrian circulation, multi-use path circulation, vehicle circulation and parking for large events, and the addition of an outdoor amphitheater within the park. The scope of Part 2 concentrates on the implementation of the master plan for the upper area and will include the playground partially completed in Phase I, an outdoor activities area with volleyball and basketball courts, a skate skills area, and a new spray pad. Further improvements to the paths and connections to the proposed trails system through the entire park are also part of this scope. Construction will begin in January of 2014. 

Phase II Concept Plans 

Ruby Hill Bike Park Concepts

The Denver Urban Waterways Restoration Study is a project to identify restorative improvements to three major urban waterways (Harvard Gulch, Weir Gulch, and the South Platte River from 6th to 58th Avenues) in the City and County of Denver: sponsored by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD), City and County of Denver (CCD), and the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB). Learn more.


View the comprehensive list of projects in different stages of the planning process.

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