And The “Why I Love Sloan’s Lake” Winners Are…

By Basha Cohen

What I didn’t expect when we hosted a Sloan’s Lake photo competition with The Denver North Star is that I would end up bawling my eyes out—literally for days.

As a lifelong resident of Sloan’s Lake, I was deeply touched by the community’s love and outpouring of support for the waters through mind-bogglingly beautiful imagery and heartfelt sentiments about “Why I Love Sloan’s Lake.”

Nothing could be a more fitting kick-off for the Sloan’s Lake Park Foundation annual fundraiser, Jamming on the Jetty, and its mission to #SaveSloansLake than this love letter to old Farmer Sloan, whose well became the lake we all hold near and dear to our hearts.

As Lauren Conley, one of our winners said, “Thank you @sloanslakeparkfoundation for taking precious care of this magical place for all.”

For everyone who sent in an image and sentiment, they claimed it as “my lake.” The beauty of the lake and park is reflected in the people that use it, and it mirrors the soul of this special neighborhood. From sunrises that cracked the morning skies and downtown skyline to the grandeur of glorious sunsets painted in vibrant pastels, fire-bomb oranges, and turbulent greys; the statuesque pelicans who reflect the beginning of Spring, the chattering ducks, in-flight geese; the ancient gnarly tree near our “Lady of the Lake” Middle School and the grand “Oak” near 20th Avenue and Stuart Street that were two favorite giving trees captured in every season; paddle-boards and kayaks and dragon boats gliding; children skipping and skipping rocks; bubbles and bikes amidst walkers and runners and strollers; windswept, cracked ice, snowy footsteps, and fog rising from a wintry lake. And, of course, pooches posing and playing with glee.

Choosing five winners out of hundreds of submissions was almost as heart-wrenching as watching a lake whose depth was once 12-18 feet, now diminishing to an average of 3 feet.

We were so impressed that we added five additional “special mention” gifts. A gigantic thank you to all of our wonderful merchants in the community for lavishing love through these special prizes! The truth is everyone was a winner, for sharing their beauty.

To see all of the photos follow @sloanslakeparkfoundation on Instagram and join us at Jamming on the Jetty, Sept. 17 at our Sloan’s Lake Photo Gallery at The Denver North Star tent.

First Place: Diane Allison
Prize: Weekend Getaway in Breckenridge AirBNB, courtesy of The Denver North Star and Meghan Nutting

Second Place: Lauren Conley
Prize: The Rose Lady bouquets for a year

“Our daughter skips in delight during one of our countless evening strolls along Sloan’s Lake. The place where we weathered the pandemic alongside our neighbors, where we could experience the stillness of time and beauty of nature during such uncertain times, where we could go to escape for a breath of fresh air whenever we felt like our walls were closing in on us. This lake grounded us. It kept us safe, sane. We watched our baby grow into a toddler, now a little girl, walking along these paths over the past three years.” — Lauren Conley

Third Place: Marc Piscotty
Prize: Odell’s Brewing Co. Picnic Party Pack and a Little Man Ice Cream Factory social for four

“I captured this image from the Dragon Boat Festival on Sloan’s Lake a few years back. It features flag-catcher Valerie Amphonephong (on bow of boat), of Aurora raising her arm in victory as the rest of her Lao Buddhist Temple teammates celebrate their win in the championship of the youth division of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.” — Marc Piscotty

Fourth Place: Arturo Juardo
Prize: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema $250 gift certificate

Fifth Place: Ryan White
Prize: Duality double fitness five-pack for treadmill-based circuit, heated resistance and conditioning, or power yoga

“This photo was taken in October 2021. I was on my bike ride home from work and the air was clear with some lovely light clouds floating in the air. Being an uncharacteristically warm evening, I thought it would be nice to stop at the lake and sit for a while to catch the sunset. As I rolled into the park from 20th I stopped dead in my tracks when my view aligned with this beautiful old tree and the setting sun. Looking back at this photo makes me endlessly grateful that my family is fortunate enough to be able to experience this every day.” — Ryan White

Special Mentions
Justin Chipman PRIZE: Central City Opera House 2023 Season-Two Tickets

.”As for why I love Sloan’s, that I would take pictures of the sunrise from the same point for two years should say enough.” — Justin Chipman

Elaina Hernandez Lechuga
Prize: Edgewater Public Market gift basket

“I grew up one block away from Sloan’s Lake Park on Vrain Street. I have so many memories wrapped up in my childhood at this park from feeding the ducks to taking walks around on a warm day. This tree is a favorite spot of mine because I love how the branches bend and curve into the lake. I recall a snowy day when my dad walked along these branches near the icy lake while I timidly watched him on the path. Recently, my parents sold their house that they lived in for over 40 years. It was knocked down in the last few weeks. It left a hole in my heart, but Sloan’s Lake will always be home to me. I even have recurring dreams of sitting on these branches and looking out into the water. It’s a special place for sure.” –Elaina Hernandez Lechuga

Brian Deardorff
PRIZE: Edgewater Beer Garden gift card

“I love sunset In the fall at Sloan’s Lake” — Brian Deardorff

David Bassett
PRIZE: Sloan’s Bar & Grill gift card

“Sloan’s Lake is great in any season. A strong windstorm broke up the surface ice and pushed it up against the eastern shore, where it froze solid. Christmas day, 2020.” — David Bassett

Brian Quigley
Prize: Yogasix & Row House one free week of classes at both locations

“Reflections On A New Perspective Of Life.” Sloan’s Lake sunsets are epic, and you never know what kind you are going to get, which makes it for me, the first time, every time, arriving at this special place. As my run was coming to completion after 1 loop around the park, I was just drawn to walk towards the shore, across the grass, to feel the heat of the sun, and to marvel at the uniqueness of today’s evening views. A kayaker, and her companion, a stand-up SUPer, just casually gliding across the lake, in what seemed like a perfect reflection of a mirrored glass, as they silently came across. To me, Sloan’s Lake has a deep reverence and meaning, because every time I step foot on that lake,
it offers me a new perspective on life.” — Brian Quigley



  1. Basha Cohen, what a beautiful, heartfelt article on the Sloan’s Lake Photography Contest. These top photos are amazing and being able to share all of them with us on this platform is very special.
    I am at awe with Justin Chipman’s video…..really a work of art and so depicting of the many changes in the views around Sloan’s Lake.

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