Part of Globeville to transform into open-space park

DENVER - A Denver neighborhood that was once overrun with illegal dumping, stolen cars and more is now set to be transformed into an open-space park, thanks to more than a decade of work by neighbors and a non-profit agency.

The city, Xcel Energy and others recently gave the final approval for the Platte Farm Open Space in Globeville, near 49th Avenue and Logan.

It's where Dave Oletski has spent his entire life and where his family has lived more more than 100 years.

"And we’ve seen every change you can imagine," Oletski told FOX31.

Years ago, the cul-de-sac he lives on became filled with trash from illegal dumping.

"We’d have them stealing cars and crashing them out in the field," Oletski said, pointing to the area just a few dozen yards from his front porch. "One morning at 5 o’clock, they blew up a car out there."

But instead of just complaining about it, Oletski did something about it.

He relentlessly persuaded the city to clean up the mess. But he didn't stop there. He wanted the five and a half acres of empty land to be an open-space park. So, in 2006 he started petitioning for that.

Recently, with the help of the non-profit organization Groundwork Denver and nearly $1 million in donations and grants, Oletski's dream started to become a reality.

"It’s an incredible feeling that it’s finally happening," said Groundwork Denver's Tangier Barnes Wright, who's spent years working on the project. "It has not been easy. Really, the project is unprecedented. It has been completely driven by residents; led by a non-profit."

In the next few years, the brown and barren space will be filled with boulders, native grasses, colorful flowers and trails for all to enjoy.

"It’s been a long road," Oletski said. "But it’s been a good one."

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