You probably already know that Central Park (formerly Stapleton) used to be Denver’s airport. My first house in the neighborhood sits on what was previously a runway. Talk about traffic problems! My current house sits on the old surface lot of the parking garage.
I can see the old control tower from my bedroom window. It looms large and empty as constituents debate what to do with it. It appears some decisions have been made as per this article from Channel 9 earlier this year.
When I did a quick search for the article, I found a link to a guy that calls himself an urban explorer. Apparently he travels around the world breaking into abandoned buildings and checks them out. He has only been arrested once. I wish I could say the same for myself! Wait, did I just really write that out loud? Anyway, urban exploration of abandoned buildings seems interesting, but that dude is not and therefore his adventures come across as bland and kind of stupid.
But on an exciting note, the tower and exploration inspired me to think about all the adventures you can have if you live in Central Park (formerly Stapleton). There are miles of bike and walking trails, not only in the hood, but they extend to arteries throughout Denver. You can connect to the Sand Creek trail or just hang around Westerly Creek or hit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal which is now a wildlife reserve; as is Bluff Lake.
Yes, Central Park (formerly Stapleton) has wildlife and I’m not just talking about Tom Cummings on a Saturday night. I have seen foxes (the four legged kind) numerous times around my house. There was another night that I followed three coyotes for a few blocks before they ran off into open space. I know cat owners aren’t fond of this wildlife, but I’m not a big fan of cats so I’m cool with it.
We have a skate park, a climbing wall, tons of parks, pools, a sledding hill and countless structures and hardscaping that make for great exploration (and climbing opportunities). “Kids! Get off that bridge railing!” And, “Don’t fall off that retaining wall!!!” Or, “No, you cannot build a dam in the creek so you can cross over!”
When people think of large new-build neighborhoods, they tend to focus on the homes themselves and maybe the commercial and retail space within walking distance. Obviously it is important to think about the roof over your head in a new neighborhood. But it’s also important to get out of the house to explore and create adventures. Thankfully, we have that right out the front door in Central Park (formerly Stapleton).
Posted by Brett Grischo – an aspiring writer hoping this endeavor doesn’t kill his dream. About Brett’s work with TJC here. Find more from Brett here.