Park Stories

Montbello Open Space Park and ELK Education Center

Montbello Open Space Park. An adult wearing a sunhat talks to a group of children sitting at a concrete picnic table. Behind his are tall grasses, water and a tree.

In the heart of one of Denver’s most economically distressed communities, a vacant lot will be transformed into a short grass prairie ecosystem with an outdoor classroom, walking paths, nature play areas, and green infrastructure. A new education center will be built on one acre of the property that once completed, will house ELK’s education programs and many other community services. ELK will manage the open space to provide the community with unparalleled science education and outdoor experiences.

Nat Turner Park

Nat Turner Park. A group of young children wearing yellow shirts play on a new playground. At center, a young child in a brown hat hoola hoops

In 2002—almost thirty years after the park was conceived—The Trust for Public Land, the city of Newark, Newark Public Schools, and the Central Ward community launched an effort to bring that vision to reality by finally developing Nat Turner Park. We led the effort, coordinating fundraising, managing the community design process, and overseeing construction. Dedicated in July 2009, Newark's largest city-owned park provides recreational space for a neighborhood of 19,000 people, including 7,000 children.

Paul Habans Charter Green Schoolyard

Paul Habans Charter Green Schoolyard

The Paul Habans Green Schoolyard provides a much-needed place for school kids and the community to enjoy recreation and greenspace. Innovative play equipment is paired with highly engineered rain gardens that alleviate the repetitive standing water after heavy rains the schoolyard suffered before the project. Students’ ideas were solicited from the get-go during the 6-week participatory design process in the classrooms which also emphasized the importance of managing stormwater.

Pogo Park

Pogo Park. A group of people against a colorful mural. They are squating in grass using powertools on large two by fours. They are wearing protective eye gear.

Pogo Park: Small park, big impact - A small park and space that allows for a deeply nuanced reading of the community's needs and potential outcomes. Featured as a case study in the Field Guide for Parks and Creative Placemaking. A full version of the Field Guide can be found here.

PS 120 Community Playground

PS 120 is a multilingual Title 1 school serving 1,045 PreK-5th graders. Of this population, 40% are English language learners. Previously the schoolyard was an empty asphalt lot used partially for teacher parking. The Trust for Public Land engaged in Participatory Design with four 4th grade classes in the spring of 2015.

Rose Kennedy Greenway "Public Art Plan"

Rose Kennedy Greenway Public Art Plan. A large colorful mural of a creature with its knees pulled up to its chest.

Rose Kennedy Greenway "Public Art Plan": A signature project in a signature park - A high-profile initiative in a signature park that created opportunities to influence the community. Featured as a case study in the Field Guide for Parks and Creative Placemaking. A full version of the Field Guide can be found here.

Story Mill Community Park

Story Mill Community Park. A group of children and an adult in an open grassy space throw their arms up and reach for the sky while looking up

Located less than two miles from Main Street in the City of Bozeman’s park-poor, northeast neighborhood, the Story Mill Community Park will serve as Bozeman’s flagship community park. The 60-acre site will be the city’s largest natural park and, through the collaboration with The Trust for Public Land, brings a new level of park design and activation to the city park system.

The 606 Park and Trail

The 606 Park and Trail. Walkers and runners use the concrete trail at sunset. The trail has large metal arches overhead. Some people sit on a concrete bench to the side.

The 606 Parks and Trail: Infrastructure reimagined - Taking advantage of underutilized public infrastructure and using culture to tell the stories of these possibilities. Featured as a case study in the Field Guide for Parks and Creative Placemaking. A full version of the Field Guide can be found here.

The Fargo Project - World Garden Commons

The Fargo Project - World Garden Commons. A femme wearing a purple hijab leaps over a garden

The Fargo Project - World Garden Commons: Water Stories - Reconnecting people to water or rethinking how water is managed in the community as a cultural asset. Featured as a case study in the Field Guide for Parks and Creative Placemaking. A full version of the Field Guide can be found here.

Underpass Park

Underpass Park. A view down under through a bridge to a skatepark. The concrete bridge is covered in colorful murals, such as a big painted blue face with pink hair

Underpass Park: Creative play spaces - Identifying unique spaces and mean to create spaces for play, and putting those qualities in service of broader community development goals. Featured as a case study in the Field Guide for Parks and Creative Placemaking. A full version of the Field Guide can be found here.

Pages