220278 Park Hill Thriving Communities—Denver Department of Environmental Health: From image to action renovations in the City of Axum Park

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 5:10 PM - 5:30 PM

Stacey McConlogue, MPH , Program Manager, Denver Healthy People 2010, Denver Department of Environmental Health, Denver, CO
J. Elaine Borton, MPH, CHES , Sage Health Consulting, LLC, Denver, CO
Kim Riley, MPH , Director of Health Education, Center for Research Strategies, Denver, CO
Denver Park Hill residents took cameras in hand to tell a story about the City of Axum Park, a recreational park in their neighborhood. They wanted to show City planners that the park was an underused resource for physical activity opportunities. Photographs showed overgrown bushes, an old restroom building, and inadequate lighting. Community residents participated in a series of meetings leading to a park re-designed for use by people of all ages. The unique design showcases African American culture from the park's namesake and sister city, Axum, Ethiopia. Renovations include a perimeter walking path, a cloth-patterned tiled walkway and cement climbing structures created to represent ancient Ethiopian obelisks. Picnic pavilions and board game tables provide community gathering spaces. A new playground and basketball court create an inviting environment for children and youth. Park Hill Thriving Communities staff, residents and community partners secured funds from the City of Denver for the renovation, which will be completed in late 2010. In the fall of 2009 volunteers organized by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado constructed a walking path around the park's perimeter. Artists secured through another city grant painted a mural on the restroom building. Canvassing with flyers prior to the trail build event advertised the new park features and surveyed residents. On-site observations were also conducted to determine current park usage. Adults and males used the park more often than others, possibly reflecting the perceived lack of safety. Follow-up site observations will be conducted to assess changes in park use.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the critical steps that led to environmental changes in Axum Park

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the evaluator on the Park Hill Thriving Communities Initiative and have followed the Initiative and written various reports over the past two years on the successes of the Initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.