Why is it so hard to imagine a park?
Multimedia journalist, historian and community organizer Brother Jeff [Jeff Fard; brotherjeff.com]] has produced two recent videos in his online “Say It Loud” show featuring powerful interviews about the future of the Park Hill Golf Course land and its perpetual open space conservation easement.
In this most recent episode, Aug 4, Dr Calderon linked the homeless crisis to the inaction by Hancock and Herndon, using PHGC land issue and the charter amendment as a lens focusing on why this is a city-wide issue.
These Brother Jeff interview videos follow his November 2019 interview with Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca regarding the Park Hill Golf Course land.
You can find the videos of his interviews with Tony Pigford and Leslie Twarogowski using the following links:
Brother Jeff has also produced two in-depth and thought-provoking videos that chronicle his insights into gentrification while walking in and around two recent northeast Denver real estate development projects: (1) the Park Hill Commons and Fairfax Row development project on the east side of the 2800 block of Fairfax Street and (2) the Skyland Village development project on the old East Denver YMCA property at 3540 East 31st Avenue. Join Brother Jeff as he shares his experiences and observations about gentrification while touring these properties. We thank Brother Jeff Fard for allowing us to share these videos.
Greater Park Hill News, July 2020
Former Mayor Wellington E Webb
I was elected to three terms by Denver voters as Denver’s first African American mayor because they trusted me to represent all residents.
That’s why it infuriates me that some people are trying to spin an open space issue into a racial divide. They are attempting to pit neighbor against neighbor and create a narrative that nobody outside of the Park Hill neighborhood cares that Denver’s last large tract of open space could turn into another concrete jungle.
Let me set the record straight.
It is false that the 155 acres of open space at the Park Hill Golf Course is just a neighborhood issue. This is a Denver issue. This tract of land – the last large tract in Denver not gobbled up by developers – is just as important as our mountain parks and other land our forefathers had the wisdom to purchase and set aside for generations. What if their attitudes had been similar to some of our council representatives today? Red Rocks likely would be a subdivision.
Most importantly, I take very seriously a promise I made to voters citywide in 1998 who agreed to pay $2 million to protect that golf course land from development.
I’m urging the Denver City Council to place this issue on the November ballot because all voters should have a say.
Last month, some city council members made misleading statements. One council member mentioned that that Park Hill Golf Course used to be less inviting to Black golfers, which was true more than 50 years ago during the time that African Americans could not buy homes east of York Street.
But in the last 30 years, the course was very popular with Black golfers, including the late Councilman Bill Roberts, former District Attorney Norm Early, Denver School Board member Ed Garner and many Black residents golfers. It is misleading and unfortunate that anyone would create a narrative that this is a racial issue.
Bringing race into this issue is just an attempt to muddy the waters. People of all races enjoy and value open space. And Park Hill residents know when a developer is trying to use them to line his pockets.
As mayor I made a promise and let me make it very clear I will not stand by quietly while people – some of whom worked side by side with me for decades – now are getting paid by the developer to undo that promise. Voters in this city deserve to have their voices heard.
Let the people decide. Why be afraid of your electorate? Let the people decide.
Wellington Webb, Whittier
From the Greater Park Hill Community Newsletter
Two Critical Words
As a lifelong Park Hill resident, a Greater Park Hill Community board member and an active member of Save Open Space Denver, I’m writing in response to Kenneth Ho’s guest opinion piece in the May edition regarding land speculator and real estate developer Westside Investment Partners’ development plans for the Park Hill Golf Course land. Mr. Ho is one of Westside’s owners and Westside’s point person trying to convince our community that Westside should be able to build a mini-city on the invaluable 155-acre open space.
Glaringly, Mr. Ho failed to use the two critical words – “conservation easement” – anywhere in his opinion piece. Mr. Ho, Westside, and the Hancock administration want to pretend that there are no legal impediments to their development plans.
Here are the undisputable facts: In 1997, Denver taxpayers paid $2 million for the perpetual open space conservation easement that forever protects the Park Hill Golf Course land from being developed. The “conservation purposes” of the conservation easement are to conserve the land “as open space” and “to maintain [the land’s] scenic and open condition and to preserve [the land] for recreational use.”
By Wellington Webb Colorado Politics June 1 2020
A well-organized campaign by the developer that wants to plow under 155 acres of open space at the Park Hill Golf Course has several misleading narratives.
First, that this is a racial issue that aims to pit neighbor against neighbor.
Second, that no one outside of the Park Hill neighborhood cares about the last large tract of open space, despite the fact that voters citywide paid $2 million in 1998 to protect it from development forever. When voters vote and approve a bond contract, that is a contract between the city and the voters.
Last month, some Denver City Council members made misleading statements. One council member mentioned that that Park Hill Golf Course used to be less inviting to black golfers, which was true more than 50 years ago during the time that African Americans could not buy homes east of York Street.
But in the last 30 years, the course was very popular with black golfers, including the late Councilman Bill Roberts, former District Attorney Norm Early, Denver School Board member Ed Garner and many black resident golfers. It is misleading and unfortunate that anyone would create a narrative that this is a racial issue.