A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park

We have more than a few parks in Lakewood – 113 of them! The newest one is right next to our Southern Gables neighborhood. Peak View Park opened this past week and we took a walk. 

All those parks cover a lot of land: 7,200 acres. That’s almost the size of all of our neighbor city Littleton. Over a quarter of Lakewood is dedicated to parks. The biggest one, of course, is Bear Creek Lake Park, with 2,600 acres right there.1 Our smallest park is the 1-acre Bonvue Park on Holland Street. Coming in at about 60 acres, our newest park finally opened this past week. It has been five years since the City of Lakewood bought the large parcel of open space from the estate of the late Vernon and Ann Taylor, and promised to keep it open for public use as a park. A naming contest gave it the name Peak View Park. It is a park of the “wide open spaces” kind, preserving the natural beauty of the rolling prairie landscape while allowing public access on trails for walking and biking.

All the details.

Years have gone by with the intersection at Wadsworth and Morrison Road being dominated by construction vehicles and “do not enter” signs, and grading of the berm running south on the east side of Wadsworth. Little else could be seen of the work going on inside the area. With the opening of the park, we can now see what all that work has accomplished. It’s good: thoughtfully designed paths and trails to access the natural beauty, with the natural beauty left in its prime condition.

We took the occasion of opening day to go to the new park and check it out. In order to enter the parking lot at Wadsworth & Morrison Road, I was mindful of the “no left turn” restriction from southbound Wads. I came out of our Southern Gables neighborhood to the west, turned left on Garrison, and then left on Morrison Road. You can enter the park that way, straight-in eastbound on Morrison, or with a right turn off northbound Wadsworth. The alternative for southbound Wads would be a U-turn at Yale. Arriving at the park, there is a parking lot paved with gravel, seemingly about a foot deep as our little car struggled to wade through it. I suppose it will pack down soon enough.

The parking lot is well situated as an overlook itself, and the main path for walking and biking starts from there. The path is eight feet wide, and a sign tells us the round-trip length on the main path is a little over three quarters of a mile. You can have a longer walk by venturing out to the two overlooks connected by gravel-paved spurs off the concrete path, or by taking one of the natural-surface trails that connect to the main path. Wherever you are in the park, the views are superb. It is good to know, though, if you are endurance-limited, that the first part of the trip from the parking lot is an easy walk, all downhill. Easy-walking or coasting smoothly along, you will at some point come to the realization that when it comes to elevation, what goes down must surely have to climb back up.

Any way you do it, it’s a good walk. You can get a printable copy of the park map here.


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Get Together!

Get Together!

You know that the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association loves to encourage community spirit and neighbors getting together. You might also know that we sponsor summer block parties, paying a stipend to Southern Gables neighbors who host a block party in July or early August. Our sponsorship is a payment of $100, no receipts required. The City of Lakewood has a larger program that can fund a bigger block party – up to $500 – or other kinds of events or projects. They call it Neighborhood Get-Togethers. [Update 6/29/23: Lakewood Community Resources Department has reached their limit on grants for block parties. The Southern Gables Neighborhood Association is still open for block party grant requests.]

To apply for a Southern Gables Neighborhood Association sponsored block party:  read You Can Host a Block Party!  and then email us at [email protected].  Please include your planned date and what area or how many households you will invite. 

Invest in Your Neighborhood with a Sponsored Block Party or Community Event

As summer 2023 approaches, you can leverage the City of Lakewood’s Get Together Program to bring your neighbors together around a shared purpose, activity or project. In summer 2022, Lakewood launched its Get Together Program to help residents foster relationships with neighbors and invest in projects that benefit local neighborhoods.

Photo by Stacie Oulton, Public Information Officer, City of Lakewood


  • Food and supplies for a neighborhood BBQ, ice cream social or block party.
  • Plants, soil and mulch to jump-start a neighborhood garden.
  • Supplies for a neighborhood trail cleanup and shirts for volunteers.
  • Holiday dinner and mailbox decorating contest.
  • Free Little Library, community pantry or seed bank project.
  • Composting, xeriscaping or bee conservation lunch and learn.
  • Neighborhood entryway beautification project and breakfast.
  • Public art showcase.
  • Memorial tree planting event.

Some additional suggestions – parties with added purpose:

  • Hot Dog Neighborhood Watch Event – meet your neighbors and exchange cell numbers over a hot dog party.
  • Youth Community Service Plan – discuss a plan for our neighborhood youth to help neighbors with snow removal or yard work.
  • Local Business Rolodex Sharing Event – help support local businesses in Southern Gables by referring them to your neighbors.

The City of Lakewood has a simple 6-step process for neighborhood projects. You can find this information at The grant application is at the bottom of that page:

1. Brainstorm ideas with neighbors.
2. Submit application.
3. Get approval and complete the contract.
4. Get together for the event/project.
5. Submit evaluation, receipts, and photos.
6. Receive reimbursement.

Photo of 2022 Southern Gables Neighborhood South Ammons Block Party

Sponsored projects are eligible for grants of either $100, $250, or $500. Applicants must be a resident or property owner in Lakewood, and the project should be inclusive and open to all neighbors. Applications are reviewed, evaluated and approved by city staff. Projects promoting community engagement, sustainability and resilience are prioritized and more likely to receive grant funding. Projects must adhere to City codes and regulations. Projects may not include alcohol, cigarettes and any illegal substances in the proposed grant budget. For parties held in yards or driveways, no permit is needed but you can close a street with a City permit. To apply or learn more, visit

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Mayor Paul Addresses Southern Gables

Mayor Paul Addresses Southern Gables

Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul was elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019, and has always been a friend of Southern Gables. We were honored to have him speak at our 2023 annual meeting. He gave us an update on a number of issues and concerns. 

First, starting with an item of concern that is literally right through the heart of Southern Gables, Mayor Paul relayed some information from our Ward 5 Councilor Mary Janssen. She has been looking into the problem of the weed-choked, overgrown ditch that has plagued the neighborhood for years. The Ag Ditch Company has characteristically refused to maintain it weed-free. (For some background on the history, read our story A Big Improvement from 2019.) She reached an agreement with the Ag Ditch Company that they will mow the east side once during the summer. However, they will not mow the west side. If the ditch company is requested to mow at any other time it will cost the neighborhood $1,800 per side. Residents are permitted to mow the ditch property, but the ditch company and Councilor Janssen did not address the question of liability. The fact that the Ag Ditch Company has legal rights that are senior to the City’s rights makes them hard to deal with. Increased awareness of wildfire  danger has added a layer of frustration with the situation as well.

Mayor Adam Paul. City of Lakewood photo

Mayor Paul discussed the recently approved “Navigation Centers” –  These Navigation Centers will provide transitional housing for persons experiencing homelessness. There are several shelters for animals in Jefferson County, but no homeless shelters in the County for human beings. This past winter there was an incremental step forward, at the Whitlock Center on Colfax which was opened for severe weather sheltering during the most extreme cold. The city also started a day work program. The goal is to put 20 to 30 people a week to work cleaning parks and picking up shopping carts. The Mayor told us how to learn more about the Navigators: here is a link to information on the City’s blog: Navigators Help the Homeless.  (For related information, this is a CBS Denver story about the warming center at Whitlock:  Lakewood focuses on resources for those experiencing homelessness.)

Zoning – Mayor Paul told us about the recent zoning bill, which would take away some of the local zoning control. Each property would allow for an 8-plex to be built on the existing property. It is a hot topic with lots of controversy.

Lakewood has a new Police Chief, Philip Smith – Crime and crime reduction is a focus of the city council. Crime is up in Lakewood, especially on Colfax and particularly with car thefts. The new chief’s goals and the city of Lakewood’s goals are to find ways to better enhance public safety.

Economic Development – On Tenth and Sheridan, in the old Holiday strip center, a developer purchased this location with goal of developing the land into a mixed-use property with housing and businesses. Economic development funds will be given from the City of Lakewood. The city will give the developer a $1 million loan to scrape what is currently on the lot.

Parks – The new park on Wadsworth at  Morrison, Peak View Park, will be open to the public in the next four or five weeks. The City of Lakewood is working with CDOT to reconfigure the Wadsworth and Morrison Road intersection to accommodate increased traffic going to the new park. When Mayor Paul began his term nearly eight years ago, the City of Lakewood had 101 parks and now we have 113 parks. A lot of TABOR dollars, as approved by Lakewood voters, went to the development of the parks.

Questions from the group – On the question of getting CDOT to put a traffic light at Evans and Wadsworth, There has not been any progress. It’s a difficult problem since it would complicate the situation with the light just north of Jewell; it was a bad choice to put one so close to Jewell in the first place, but the fact is that it’s there, and putting another equally close on the other side has been denied several times since it is thought that it would make a bad situation worse. As with any problem that a resident sees and thinks should be fixed, Mayor Paul said that the thing to do is report it. Persistence, and getting your neighbors involved to report problems as well, can pay off in getting attention focused.

An Inclusive Community. Photo from, Living in Lakewood

In response to a question about the new housing on Wadsworth and 13th, they are apartments. To the observation that there is not much parking on the site, Mayor Paul explained the plan of having growth corridors – The City of Lakewood is planning housing projects in areas around transit lines, where many if not most of the residents can easily use public transportation: specifically near Belmar, Colfax, and Denver West.

Question about getting a sidewalk on Morrison to get to the park – it’s a CDOT road. CDOT has offered the road to Lakewood, but this is not a great deal for Lakewood taxpayers. Maybe over time.

Question – plans for mitigation of storm damage in the parks, like downed trees and branches, etc. – the Mayor said the Parks Department is pretty active, but sometimes they do just leave large areas of the parks for natural habitat. In response to a complaint about a specific downed branch in a conspicuous place at the park at Florida and Garrison, the mayor said he would put in a request for that branch to be removed.

Mayor Paul thanked us as a group for “always being friendly” to him during his tenure as Mayor, now nearing the end of eight years’ elected service. We like to think of Southern Gables as a decidedly friendly place, so we’re glad to note the feeling is mutual.

Official meeting minutes of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association Annual  Business Meeting will be published as a comment to this article as a matter of record, within the next week. 

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