North Denver will soon have some new green land, but don’t go calling it a park.
“It’s not officially a park but rather six acres of open space,” Jenna Garcia, spokesperson for the National Western Center Authority told us. “[It] therefore does not have an official park name. We affectionally refer to it as ‘The Riverfront.'”
Marcy Loughran, spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center, said the open space will be ready for visitors in the spring. It’s replacing what once was a tangle of livestock pens and infrastructure that completely blocked access to the South Platte River.
“We moved 14,000 linear feet (nearly three miles) of freight railroad tracks away from the east bank of the South Platte River. The Delgany wastewater interceptor, two parallel seven-foot-tall sewer pipes, was also relocated and placed underground. The steep east bank has been graded and widened,” Loughran told us. “It will also help prevent future flooding and help filter out pollutants that can be harmful to public health and the river habitat.”
Those buried sewer lines are now doing double duty, as it were – the campus will draw almost 90% of its heating and cooling from thermal energy gleaned from the pipes.