First Creek Park Natural Playground

First Creek Park Natural Playground

Denver, CO


The first of its kind natural play area is a fully accessible and fully sensory space that seamlessly integrates the stream and forest with innovative landform and natural play features. The project was designed and built in collaboration with Valerian Landscape Architects, Naranjo Contracting, Denver Urban Drainage, and Denver Parks Department.

This natural playground is the first of its kind to feature a massive, fully accessible double log bowl swing set that is fully integrated into the landscape. Landform and floodplain redevelopment that invites children and families to play in the riparian buffers. Forest play trails, natural amphitheatres, sideways tree and boulder climbers, rope play, furniture and ecological restoration line the winding accessible trails that link to the Denver master trails plan.

Watch as CBS Denver covers the park opening.

7500 square feet

Age Group:
All Ages

Built in:

18874 Elmendorf Dr, Denver, CO 80249, United States

Project Background, Public Input and Goals:

Extremely robust public input process (interface) we held meetings at the community center around the corner and on-site. The engagement involved several departments with the city and was facilitated with indoor public engagement through a series of consultation stations rather than an open mic and outdoor on-site consultation was done as a tour of the existing site to interface directly with the community. The project was a reclamation of a poorly designed stormwater management system behind a series of subdivisions funded by the Mile-High stormwater management group in Colorado. The idea was to restore the ow of the creek to focus on the natural ow and features of the water as the core of the community play features in the park. We chose to enhance the exist-ing forest and riparian buer with play features that would draw the community into the landscape and facilitate existing programs.

First Creek Park Natural Playground