Spring has sprung in south Denver

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Spring has finally sprung in southeast Denver and residents are energized and excited to get outside to enjoy nature. District 4 is home to some truly wonderful outdoor amenities.

One of our favorites is the High Line Canal, which was constructed over a century ago as a way to bring water from the South Platte River to farms on the plains. Today, it is a 71-mile much-loved recreational trail that takes users through District 4’s Magna Carta Park, Eisenhower Park and Bible Park before crossing the Cherry Creek Trail and heading north. The trail crosses some pretty busy streets, which is why there are plans to build underpasses at Hampden Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, Yale Avenue and South Holly Street, and East Mississippi Avenue and Parker Road. These tunnels will make the trail much safer.

Other safety improvements are underway to make walking and biking safer, including improved crosswalks, pedestrian refuges and bike lanes. Community members celebrated much-needed, wide sidewalks near the Yale Station and are looking forward to a new signal and crosswalk that will make it safer to walk to the station. Plans to improve pedestrian and bike access to the Colorado Light Rail Station are also underway.

Situated between these two light-rail stations, the University Hills North neighborhood is undergoing a great demographic shift. With lots of dense new development, their population is expected to more than double, and they don’t have a park close by — which is why I’ve been working closely with the neighborhood and Denver Parks and Recreation to try to create a new park. The city is now under contract for a new two-acre park at 4301 E. Iliff Ave., which will replace the Groundcovers Greenhouse that is closing later this year.

Southeast Denver is also home to two golf courses. Designed by Donald Ross, the Wellshire Golf Course with its beautiful Tudor clubhouse, was built in 1926 as a private club. When the Great Depression hit, the owners sold it to the city. Today, it’s enjoyed by thousands of golfers each year as one of the area’s finest public courses. And, do you know that the High Line Canal flows through it?

Kennedy Golf Course, located in the far southeastern corner of Denver, just north of the Cherry Creek Dam, sits on land owned by the Army Corps of Engineers. In addition to its 27 holes, it offers foot golf (think soccer combined with golf), night golf, putt-putt and a huge driving range. Both courses host first tee for kids.

Eisenhower Park was named for Mamie Doud Eisenhower, who grew up in Denver before marrying Dwight D. Eisenhower. District 4’s only recreation center is in Eisenhower Park. Built in the 1950s, this small neighborhood center has a wonderful outdoor pool and new outdoor pickleball courts.

Bible Park is my favorite park in all of Denver. The High Line Canal surrounds it on three sides like a protective, tree-lined moat. The Goldsmith Gulch cuts through the center of it creating a beautiful natural area. No matter the weather, you’ll see people walking, running and enjoying its natural beauty. And, like many families, I’ve spent hours watching my own kids play soccer, football and baseball. There’s a little something for everyone in Bible Park, including southeast Denver’s best summertime event. South by Southeast is a community-created festival featuring live music, craft beer, food trucks, a pop-up dog park, family-friendly games, farmers’ market and more. Join me on Aug. 17 for our third annual festival, and enjoy springtime in Denver!

Kendra Black represents District 4 in the Denver City Council. District 4 covers southeast Denver, which includes the University Hills, Wellshire, Goldsmith neighborhoods and more. Black can be reached at kendra.black@denvergov.org.

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