For over 100 years, Johnson-Habitat Park along Denver’s South Platte River was a city dump, with nearby industrial businesses also spilling sewage into the river. The City and County of Denver selected ECI to transform it into a beautiful outdoor space that includes a neighborhood park, urban outdoor education center and campground. The project required soil remediation prior to construction start, so ECI worked with Pinyon Environmental to remove more than 18,000 cubic yards of friable asbestos-impacted soil, while maintaining compliance with State requirements. After remediation, ECI imported and compacted clean fill, and conducted water control and armoring to construct a new concrete jetty for river access.
The park features a central green space surrounded by several areas that allow for “natural play,” such as a “wickiup” jungle gym ECI created using salvaged trees from the riverbank. Smaller branches were repurposed as movable elements. Other park features include a campground on a high point that accommodates groups of 30 for “small-scale urban camping” and an amphitheater ECI built from faux boulders centered around a fire pit.