Get to Know Your Greenway
By: J.J. Clark
SPREE Staff Writer
Other Get to Know Your Greenway Articles on left
Grab your camera, your baseball bat, and your hiking boots and discover Vanderbilt Park along the South Platte River! Featuring a baseball field and a huge pond, this park offers views of Gates Rubber Co. as well as Downtown Denver.
Pinched between South Platte River Dr. West and Huron St., Vanderbilt Park is flanked by large contractor show rooms and the sound of traffic permeates the park space. The area of the park adjacent to the baseball field is well manicured with neatly cut Kentucky Blue Grass and uniformly planted and mulched evergreens. This park is an impressive open space tucked in between a busy thoroughfare and an industrial district.
If you try to find this park on the South Platte River trail you may pass by it without even knowing. The South Platte trail passes underneath Santa Fe just before it would pass by the park. If you take a small detour over a bumpy road toward the baseball field you will find yourself in the open space this park has to offer.
If you make your way to the south side of the baseball field you will see the pond. The pond is surrounded by a variety of Cottonwood trees, cattails, and shrubs. while the banks of the pond offer only a few access points it is a popular spot for Canada Geese. There are a few spots around the bank that once you step far enough into the Cottonwoods, you can almost forget you are right in the city. Mixed in with the warehouses, there are a few housing units which have almost exclusive access to this amenity. With the new apartment building at the old location of Gates Rubber on South Broadway, the coming years could see this park become an extremely popular recreational destination.
From the west side of the pond as you emerge from the Cottonwoods, a distant view of Downtown Denver peeks out on the horizon. Whether it is for a summer baseball game, or a cool autumn walk around the pond, you can escape to Vanderbilt Park and enjoy a bit of Denver’s urban nature.