Family Style

Will LoDo ever be more than a playground for big kids?

She also worries about safety -- the lot is bounded by busy Speer Boulevard and Wewatta Street -- and accessibility, since there is limited parking in the area. "It's not centrally located at all. I don't think it would serve all of LoDo," she says.

Mostly, Hoffman explains, she and other residents are concerned that it wouldn't get much use, and she refers to a survey that the neighborhood organization conducted last year to support her belief. While a majority of people who took the survey were in favor of a playground, only 14 percent felt that there is an "extremely" serious need for one. One-third of the respondents said there is no need for a playground at all. (Even more people -- 38 percent -- indicated that there is no need for an elementary school in LoDo, either.)

At the neighborhood group's annual meeting in February, however, 60 percent of the attendees voted in favor of a playground. "Parks and Recreation viewed that as enough support, but we had concerns about whether it was the right time to fundraise," Everett says. "Then the Ocean Journey issue came up, and we wanted to wait until fundraising for that was done. Now we're trying to look for other organizations to partner with, like LoDo District Inc., and the Downtown Denver Partnership.

Jana Everett would like to see a playground built in LoDo.
Anna Newell
Jana Everett would like to see a playground built in LoDo.

"We want to make LoDo more inclusive and child-friendly," she adds. "Although we realize that there aren't many children here now, we want it to be an attraction for families."

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