A bird 's eye view of the park and its surroundings.



City Park Friends & Neighbors is co-hosting a Zoom Community Open House event with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) and Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) to discuss the creation of new natural play experiences in City Park.

This event will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021 from 6-7:30 PM.  Register to attend the meeting by filling out this form. A link to join the meeting via Zoom will be emailed to all registered attendees prior to the event.

We look forward to connecting and answering your questions and receiving your ideas about this project. To learn more about the project prior to the Community Open House, please visit

After conducting a state-wide listening tour starting in 2012 to learn what Coloradans value most about their state and also their DMNS experience, DMNS came away with a new commitment to empower the voices of the community. “We strive to be a museum for the people, by the people,” says Jacqueline Altreuter, Director of Volunteers and Project Lead for DMNS’ Nearby Nature initiative. “We don’t want to impose our organizational will and desires onto the community but rather we want to elevate the voices of the community and act as a partner in realizing the community’s desires. After all, we can’t realize the Museum’s vision of an empowered community that loves, understands, and protects our natural world if we’re not actually empowering people and are instead just wielding our power as an organization. We want to be the catalyst, not the driver.”

One of the main community desires DMNS staffers heard was for more experiences outside the doors of DMNS in City Park. “They told us that time spent in nature was rejuvenating and that their experiences in nature were often a bridge to exploring and understanding science,” Altreuter continues. This feedback coincided with the recommendations in the 2018 City Park Master Plan Update for natural play experiences in the areas near DMNS.

Based on all the robust feedback they collected for creating nature experiences right outside their doors, DMNS entered into a partnership with DPR in 2019 to pursue the Nearby Nature initiative.

Nearby Nature is the umbrella for several projects – not only the Nature Play and the DeBoer Waterway projects but other possible projects as well. These other projects include the “greening-up” of the Boettcher Plaza on the south side of DMNS and creating more access and permeability at DMNS’s west and south entrances.

The Nature Play playground would roughly extend from the DeBoer Canyon outside the west DMNS entrance, west to the small playground bordering Ferril Lake and south to the 1925 Lily Pond (current home to the Color Field art installation). The DeBoer Waterway project reflects an often-repeated community desire (especially among kids!) for water in this area of the park. The DMNS and DPR team has met with “architects, hydrologists, ecologists, engineers and nature play experts to help us realize this vision,” according to Altreuter. DMNS and DPR hired a design team in September and have begun work on figuring out the infrastructure requirements to bring the community-inspired Nature Play and DeBoer Waterway projects to life.

Now DMNS and DPR are ready and eager for more community input about the current concepts that have been developed. The team is launching a massive new outreach effort with community meetings, mailings, and even offers of kits for interested community members to submit their own designs. DMNS and DPR want to receive as much feedback as possible about the current conceptual design of the Nearby Nature spaces.

Please join us on Tuesday, Feb. 2 from 6-7:30 pm for a Zoom Open House (see registration link above) to hear about the exciting new Nearby Nature projects. There will be a slideshow and there will be plenty of time for your questions and insights. We want to hear from you!!!