Less pavement, more green will take a little help from everyone

Denver Post January 22, 2021

By Jevon Taylor

Guest Commentary

Being a “city within a park” is not just good for business; it’s critical to Denver’s sustainability. For a city that envisions itself as a “city within a park,” Denver is one of the lowest-ranking American cities in park acres per resident. Intertwined with ongoing growth and development throughout the city is the need to balance the amount of green space and nature within our communities. Each of us needs to rethink our definition of “green space” to include not only parks and open space but trees and greenery built into the spaces in between.

As our city continues to grow, we, as business owners and community stakeholders, need to be the leaders behind a more tangible, accessible solution and look to retrofitting existing spaces. That includes businesses such as mine in Five Points, working with one of Denver’s largest developers, EDENS, and partners such as the National Wildlife Federation and Denver Botanic Gardens to invest proactively in breaking up concrete and incorporating greenery in our rights of way and storefronts. By working with local community members, nearby schools, customers and the city of Denver, our collaboration will transform the space we manage to attract more business, improve people’s health and contribute to the fabric of the community.

This isn’t just a movement to make the city more aesthetically pleasing. There are well-known mental and physical health benefits of time spent around greenery and in nature, such as lower stress and greater physical activity — not to mention environmental benefits such as reduced heat and better air quality. But as a small business owner in downtown Denver, I can’t ignore the added benefit that customers are willing to pay 8% to 12% more where there’s attractive landscaping. Stormwater bills and air conditioning expenses also are affected by what we do with hot, “impervious” concrete outside our storefronts.

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Denver residents take a stand on Park Hill Golf Course as green space dwindles citywide

Former Mayor Wellington Webb suspects a “gentlemen’s agreement” to develop land

Now defunct Park Hill Golf Club in Denver, pictured July 31, 2019, slated for development. Andy Cross, The Denver Post

By BRUCE FINLEY | bfinley@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
August 4, 2019 at 6:00 am

While Denver was hosting urban planners from 18 nations recently for a conference on green space, residents were launching a campaign to preserve 155 acres of open space at the Park Hill Golf Course, which was sold to a developer last month.

These Save Open Space Denver advocates say they’re fighting to ensure breathing room amid a citywide thickening of traffic, jam-packed apartments and rising heat. They’re focusing on the Park Hill land as a last relatively inexpensive chance to move toward a balance between nature and development that city leaders traditionally aspired to in the goal of making Denver “a city within a park.”

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A Life Or Death Situation – A Letter From Kim Morse

From K Morse
To CdeBaca, Candi – CC XA1404 Member Denver City Council Candi.CdeBaca@denvergov.org, amanda.sawyer@denvergov.org amanda.sawyer@denvergov.org, amanda.sandoval@denvergov.org amanda.sandoval@denvergov.org, chris.hinds@denvergov.org chris.hinds@denvergov.org, Kashmann, Paul J. – City Council Paul.Kashmann@denvergov.org, Herndon, Christopher J. – City Council District 8 Christopher.Herndon@denvergov.org, ortegaatlarge@denvergov.org ortegaatlarge@denvergov.org, Deborah Ortega deborahortega@icloud.com, Kniech, Robin L. – City Council Robin.Kniech@denvergov.org, stacie.gilmore@denvergov.org stacie.gilmore@denvergov.org, kevin.flynn@denvergov.org kevin.flynn@denvergov.org, jolon.clark@denvergov.org jolon.clark@denvergov.org, kendra.black@denvergov.org kendra.black@denvergov.org, jamie.torres@denvergov.org jamie.torres@denvergov.org

 

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Council Representatives,
You’re more than likely familiar with the statement pictured above.
Selling off open space may not seem like a life or death situation to you but it is just one more step in that direction for all life forms that exist today.  News outlets reported last week that July 2019 was the hottest on record.  Our air and water quality is increasingly compromised by human activities.  We loses countless species (mammals, birds, insects, etc.) each year through extinction due to human activities, including encroachment on their habitat, pollution and the resulting warming of our planet.
Our increasing landmass of asphalt and concrete contributes to local warming, which contributes to the need to use more fossil fuel to cool our homes, cars, offices, etc., not to mention lost productivity, health issues and more.  I encourage you to step outside of the City and County and head across the street to the greenery of Civic Center Park on a 90+ degree day. Take in the very noticeable difference in temperature between the streetscape you’ll cross on your way to the park and the park itself. It’s dramatic.  We need more trees, plants and other natural landscape, not less.
It is incumbent on each and every one of you to do what you can to Stop Park Hill Golf Course from being covered in asphalt and concrete.  Let’s not be shortsighted here and think about our own personal interests in open space or financial gain today.  Let’s think about the future that we want to leave for our children and their children. Continue reading