DENVER (CBS4) – The new Freedom Park is in a neighborhood where refugees from war-torn countries are making a new life in Denver.
The grand opening of the park was held on Saturday and parents talked about what the new park means for their community.
“It’s awesome to be able to have some things for the kids in a community that’s had a lot of struggles, had a lot of strife and problems, and now God is bringing everything to the forefront and we’re being blessed,” resident Mia Westbrooks said.
The children are of all ages and backgrounds. Many of their parents are immigrants. Now they have a place to climb and play. Residents say it’s a huge improvement to the area.
“Basically they were playing in the parking lots, or you know just in the street, which wasn’t that good, but this year it’s really great,” resident Antionette Johnson said.
The area started out as a place where the immigrants would gather right near a tree. Nearly three years later it’s become what it is today — a park where the children can play and an area where the adults can grow their own produce.
“This was a vacant lot with glass strewn on a gravel covered field,” Tim Wohlgenant with the Trust for Public Land said.
Now it’s a community garden where fresh tomatoes, radishes and other vegetables are cultivated while the children play. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock gladly welcomed the new city park.
“It’s a great source of pride for this community and demonstrates really what Denver is all about — one city for all people,” Hancock said.
The tree where it all began still stands tall.
The Trust for Public Land and Denver Parks and Recreation helped transform the area. They also received donations from local nonprofits.