Commons Park as seen from a residential balcony at the Glass House on July 31, 2015, in Denver. (Anya Semenoff, Your Hub)

‘Stoner Hill’ fencing removed from Commons Park in Denver

Denver Parks and Recreation on Wednesday removed fencing around a hill and sculpture that was a popular spot for drug use at Commons Park downtown, reopening the area to the public.

The hill — commonly referred to as Stoner Hill — and the nearby Common Grounds sculpture were go-to spots for homeless people, pot smokers and drug users because of the lack of visibility from the bottom of the hill and the ability to hide within the sculpture.

The park is located at 15th and Little Raven Streets.

Denver Parks and Recreation fenced off the area in April to work to improve the landscaping in that area and form an improvement plan.

The fence was removed because the work was complete and the sky garden on top of the hill that mostly contributed to visibility issues was filled in with gravel.

“That’s just temporary for improved visibility,” said Cyndi Karvaski, spokeswoman for Denver Parks and Recreation.

The sky garden was slightly sunken, concealing people at the top of the hill from below. Denver police and park rangers will continue to monitor the area.

Denver Parks and Recreation had contractors work on irrigation and re-seeding damaged areas of grass, according to Karvaski, who said the fall is good time to re-open the hill since it’s a dormant time for grass.

Denver Arts and Venues is going to repair stone work and clean the Common Grounds sculpture. That work could be complete by the end of the week.

Karvaski said the next step to continue improvements at the park is to form an advisory committee of stakeholders and community members to look at options. Parks and Recreation last met with the community about problems at the park in July.

“It would be great if we can have a permanent fix now, but we want to hear from community and what’s the best way to do this,” she said. “We’re still working with city agencies.”

Joe Vaccarelli: 303-954-2396, or @joe_vacc

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