Russell Square ParkDenver, Colorado
Russell Square Park, in Denver’s Cole neighborhood, is a traditional 2-acre park and green space for nearby residents. Though 74% of Cole residents live within ¼ mile of a park or open space, neighborhood parks in Cole remain largely underutilized. The park offers ample green space with shade, picnicking and a playground, so we ask, why does it underperform and what can be done to offer the neighborhood attractive outdoor and nature-based activities to promote social interaction, exercise and enjoyment?
Beginning in 2016, the My Outdoor Colorado (MOC) Cole Coalition began a multi-year planning and community engagement process to help youth and community members figure out ways to safely connect and reconnect to nature and the outdoors. Working in partnership, Denver Parks + Recreation, The Trust for Public Land and the MOC Cole coalition embarked on a community engagement process that included participation by approximately 300 people in 8 outreach events, resulting in a conceptual master plan for the park.
Livable Cities Studio joined the project to continue the community-based planning process and advance the master plan from concept to implementation. The design team partnered with the community and client to craft a vision for the park that offers a new outdoor experience promoting social-cultural infrastructure and enhancing the ecology of the park. The design preserves the spectacular tree canopy and species diversity while activating the space with new programming, colorful surface textures, local art, nature play elements and new plantings. The design addresses a critical community need by providing social spaces that promote daily interaction and exchange between children, adults and the mixing of socioeconomic groups while offering connections to nature and the outdoors.
Landscape Architecture, Urban Design
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3858 Walnut St #135
Denver, Colorado 80205