Color Field at the Lily Ponds

A drawing of a plate with many colors

On February 4 at Messiah Community Church, City Park Friends and Neighbors launched its newest project, Color Field with a public program presented by Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator and Outreach Director for Denver Botanic Gardens. The program and slideshow, “Saco De Boer and the Visionaries Who Shaped Our Western Gardening Philosophy,” highlighted famed Denver landscape architect Saco DeBoer who designed the Lily Ponds at City Park in 1925. In 1970, a severe storm flooded the area, and the ponds have since been waterless (with one exception) with the sandstone seedbed walls exposed.

In Color Field, visual artists Sarah and Josh Palmeri will activate the space through a colorful, site-specific installation of roughly 7,000 painted gardening stakes in the seedbeds of the drained ponds. The six uniquely shaped seedbeds will transform into abstract forms of bright colors, bringing attention to this underutilized area of City Park. The installation aims to recall the history and beauty of the Lily Ponds while building momentum for plans to restore the historic area. There will be a gala opening for the finished Color Field installation. There will be activities around the site through the summer and fall.

The community will be invited to participate in various volunteer days, where residents and park visitors will paint and install this work alongside the artists during May and June. The installation will be on display from May through Fall, 2020. Color Field has received the generous support of Denver Arts and Venues, City Park Friends and Neighbors, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Zoo, Denver Department of Parks and Recreation and City Park Alliance. More sponsors will be joining our team soon!

We welcome donations. We need funding for the gardening stakes, paint, other materials, and artists’ fees. Please visit the Color Field website at to learn more about the project and access the Donate button to help make this City Park project a success! We appreciate any amount you want to give.