Centennial Village’s Stormwater Park is situated at the most northern end of the pre-planned community located at what is currently Centennial Airport in Centennial, Colorado. The park is designed to act as a place for the residents of the community to come and relax and recreate in an engaging environment while also treating stormwater from the surrounding blocks with biological methods rather than industrial ones. The park utilizes varying topography, a wide range of remedial plant species, and pumps and streams to help clean and oxygenate the stormwater coming from the community. As the water moves northward it passes through a few stages of treating. It first meanders through the stream on the southern end of the park, where aquatic plants and rocks filter out any large debris. Then it moves into the wetland portion of the park where medium particles begin to settle, and aquatic plants begin to remediate any chemicals in the water. As the water moves into the pond in the northern end of the park the smallest particles settle. Before the water continues to move north to the Cherry Creek river, the water from the pond is pumped back up towards the edges of the park to flow through supplemental streams to reintroduce oxygen back into the system. The resulting landscape from these methods is not only one that acts as a corridor for human movement, gathering and community; but also as one that seeks to nurture ecological systems that want to thrive in this area, but have recently been restricted due human expansion and industrialization.


  • To create a space for surrounding residents to relax and recreate
  • To utilize existing water supply to create the space listed above
  • To clean the water used for the space with biological methods
  • To create a healthy ecosystem with said biological methods

Design Challenges

  • A mass shift in topography was needed to restore the original stream path
  • There is a lack of oxygen in the Cherry Creek watershed, which this stream feeds
  • The Park will sit below the street level
  • There is only seasonal precipitation in this area

Design Solutions

  • Landscape was cut to reshape the surrounding area to more effectively channel water toward the park
  • By pumping the water back up to the supplemental streams, the water will become reoxygenated
  • The park being below street level is more of an opportunity than a challenge, it allows for free movement of pedestrians without automobile interference
  • Native or special plants had to be selected to take advantage of the unusual patterns of precipitation