The 303 ArtWay Heritage Trail is a four-mile pedestrian and bike loop connecting RTD’s 40th and Colorado station to key destinations within Northeast Park Hill. The Heritage Trail is a community-driven project with local stakeholders playing a major role in both the location and the design of the future urban path. The 303 ArtWay will highlight the visionaries, artists, leaders, and community activists who have contributed cultural vitality to this historically unique and diverse neighborhood, all while increasing safety and connectivity throughout the Northeast Park Hill community.
Since 2016, Radian has been facilitating community engagement in this area to support community-identified priorities that determine the future of the neighborhood. In May 2020, the 303 ArtWay team finalized a corridor study documenting Phase I of the project. The 70-page report reflects one year of work, fully funded by the Colorado Health Foundation’s Activating Healthy Places & Spaces grant. In addition to providing an overview of 303 ArtWay’s progress, the report also dives into the key recommendations, findings and learnings we discovered along the way.
Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) is a Denver-based nonprofit that uses real estate to meet community needs. The 303 ArtWay was conceived through ULC’s real estate investments in Northeast Park Hill, including the redevelopment of the Holly Square and future development of land near the 40th and Colorado Transit Station. After hearing concerns from the community regarding the fundamental lack of existing infrastructure between the 40th and Colorado Station and Holly Square in particular, ULC launched 303 ArtWay to increase safety through mobility and connectivity.
Walk2Connect is a cooperative that works to create whole-health walking programs focused on connection to others, the places we live, and to ourselves. In alignment with their mission to encourage health and connectivity in communities, 303 ArtWay partnered with Walk2Connect to lead three community walk audits in the spring of 2019. Walk2Connect was charged with organizing and leading each walk, which provided each participant with the true pedestrian experience of the future urban loop. As advocates for walkable community design, Walk2Connect was innovative in their approach to these walks, which were partnered with design workshops allowing participants to immediately identify and record lacking pedestrian infrastructure in the neighborhood.
In 2019, 303 ArtWay was awarded grant funding through the City and County of Denver’s Vision Zero Community Program, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths in Denver by 2030. The funding was administered by WalkDenver, who partnered with ULC and Radian to organize a community pop-up event demonstrating design changes that can result in safer streets in Northeast Park Hill. WalkDenver is a nonprofit organization committed to reclaiming Denver’s streets for people by making them safe and comfortable for people walking, biking, and taking transit. Known for their ability to successfully transform public spaces through strategic tactical urbanism, WalkDenver provided extensive technical assistance and support to ensure the pop-up event was a success.
PlatteForum is an innovative art and youth development program connecting youth from historically marginalized communities with professional artists in intensive and creative learning environments. As a noted leader in the artistic community, 303 ArtWay selected PlatteForum to host creative visioning workshops with neighborhood youth and lead the artist selection process for the loop’s first mural. In July of 2016, PlatteForum identified Birdseed Collective as the lead artist and worked as a liaison and project manager to ensure local community youth were involved throughout the process. PlatteForum will continue to serve as a valued partner to 303 ArtWay as it incorporates culturally relevant and community-driven art installations along the four-mile loop.