Last time we checked in with the City of Nairobi Park project, it was on the way to being everything that a neighborhood park should. The grand re-opening of the park was held this past Sunday. After so many days of intense rain, a successful turnout was questionable. Fortunately, there were few clouds hovering over the new park on Sunday. At least 200 people attended the re-opening, and with the sun shining, it was a complete success.
The new park’s construction was designed by Mundus Bishop and reflects many concepts of the city of Nairobi, Kenya. The new playground is yellow, green and red, which are considered the colors of Nairobi. There is a lone patch of bright blue on the playground, meant to reflect the cooling waters on the Nairobi flag. African animal sculptures are strategically placed around the park. The crowd favorite seemed to be the giant giraffe; children could be found climbing on it all day. There is a lush field full of healthy green grass, making City of Nairobi park a true representation of its inspiration, the “green city under the sun.” There is even a brand new walkway, which takes you from one side of the park to the other.
Sunday’s festivities were grand and colorful to say the least. A very diverse crowd, all representing the Clayton neighborhood came out to show their support for improvement within the community. There were city officials in attendance, including city councilman Albus Brooks. Cultural drummer and dancers made the re-opening fun; music could be heard the whole time. Powerhouses behind the playground project including; Greg Kaiser, Kate Greely, Christina Roybal, and more were also in attendance. However, the most exciting appearance had to be speaker from the Nairobi County Assembly, Honorary Alex Ole Magelo. He spoke about the great relationship that Denver has with what is considered our sister city, Nairobi.
City Councilman Albus Brooks spoke with 303 about the Nairobi Park project.
303 Magazine: Describe the Denver/Clayton community.
Albus Brooks: It’s been overlooked for years and years. It’s starting to get gentrified now. It’s an incredible eclectic and diverse community; it’s really on the up and up. The challenge now is to make sure it doesn’t become over-gentrified.
303: What do you admire most about community events like this?
AB: Number one, you activate public spaces. That’s the thing I’m most excited about, this park has never been this hoppin’ before. Two, it’s the place where people connect. People have to run into each other. What good is diversity if it’s disconnected? Events like this help us connect.
303: What are the future plans for Nairobi Park and/or the Clayton community?
AB: We want to keep it activated like this. Up on 35th and Colorado Boulevard we are putting together the first grocer Walgreens in the state of Colorado as well. So we’re bringing healthy food to this neighborhood as well.
City of Nairobi Park is no longer an eyesore to those that frequent the Clayton neighborhood. Parents actually want to take their children to the park to play now. A great amount of time and effort were put into making the new playground a success and it couldn’t have turned out better. Make sure you check out the new park located off of 35th and Cook.