Over 100 community members joined us this weekend in the culmination of a four-year process to rebuild the site of a 2008 gang arson that destroyed the Holly Shopping Center.

Led by the efforts of our community office partner Terrance Roberts and The Prodigal Son Initiative, and thanks to a recent $150,000 grant by the Piton Foundation, community members installed two playgrounds and a basketball court this weekend, and painted over the burnt remains of the Holly, which was destroyed by gang violence four years ago.

Over the next several months, an incredible community space will cover the floor of the fire, and will include Northeast Denver’s only indoor soccer field, a gazebo for chess, and a fresh coat of paint for the Soco Gas Station in camouflage, to signify the peace between the warring colors of blue and red in our part of town. Above them will stand the six pillars that used to hold up the Holly Shopping Center, which have been painted over to become Peace Murals that stand above the new space. And thanks to a $5 million investment by the Anschutz Foundation, a new Boys & Girls Club will also be built.

The Denver Post took some great photos and talked to one of the volunteers who summed why we were all out this weekend:

Nyla Pollard, 8, feverishly swept the courts ahead of the adult volunteers.

“I came to help my community build a park,” Nyla said. “We should have a place to play.”

Watch the 9News report below:


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