Citizens Unite to Create Cleaner Parks and Lakes in Northwest Denver

(left to right) Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval, June Eshelan, Jeannine Spicer participate in the community parks cleanup.
Photo by Basha Cohen

Sick of cleaning up inside your “safer at home” house? Perhaps that was the impetus that led hundreds of do-good community citizens to come out for this year’s Northwest Denver Cleanup Day on September 26. Eight parks and one CDOT open space were gussied up by volunteers during a fall-is-in-the-air Saturday morning. Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval and several registered neighborhood organizations (RNOs) spearheaded the community effort to clean up the shores, playgrounds and streets surrounding the parks. As a result of the successful effort Sandoval said, “I can’t thank our community enough. We think the cleanup day was a great success and that is due to the hard work and dedication of volunteers and RNOs! We made a donation to Bienvenidos Food Bank in District 1 in honor of each RNO/volunteer group that participated.”

Sloan’s Lake, hard hit by the massive fish kill last month, has motivated neighbors to save this precious resource. A.J. Steinke, a local Sloan’s Lake resident, has been bringing the community together for four years with an annual music festival, Jamming on the Jetty. Due to Covid-19 the event was cancelled this year, but it kickstarted the greater purpose of creating a 501(c)(3) foundation to focus on the long-term health and beauty of Sloan’s Lake and the park that surrounds it. 

The Sloan’s Lake Park Foundation (SLPF), the newly formed group of individuals passionate about the long term preservation of Sloan’s Lake and the Park introduced themselves to neighbors and volunteers at the cleanup event. The foundation’s mission is committed to funding efforts that will promote Clean Water and Sustainability; Safe, Livable and Welcoming Spaces; and Programming and Activation for All.

A volunteer in Columbus, often called La Raza, park.
Photo by David Sabados

Working in partnership with the City of Denver, the immediate focus is on three priorities.  

1. Implementing Forebays: Due to significant sediment coming into the lake that is creating unhealthy water conditions, investments in forebays can stop this. Ultimately, this allows a focus on reclamation.
2. Educating municipal partners, community and developers about steps they can take to lessen negative impact on the lake and the park. This includes outreach and collaboration with neighboring Edgewater and Lakewood in Jefferson County and other communities that contribute to the pollutants — 85 percent of the runoff that flows into the lake comes from outside of Denver. 
3. Research for a greater understanding of who uses the lake and park and how, in order to craft a better long-term sustainability strategy. 
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, the Sloan’s Lake Park Foundation is seeking donations, volunteers and support. Join the email list and learn more at or email


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