Garland Park: Garland Park is my park, and why I'll reluctantly share it with you
Our current cover story, Alan Prendergast's "Party in the Park," looks at how Denver's park rangers are gearing up for a busy summer season. In response, Westword writers are weighing in with appraisals of their own favorite Denver parks, continuing with Susan Froyd's tribute to Garland Park.
I'm a bit reluctant to sing the praises of Garland Park publicly, because I unfairly think of it as my park, and though that's not entirely true, there are moments when I seem to have it all to myself and my dogs.
Growing up in the Virginia Village area, I saw Garland as a personal landmark. In those days, Lollipop Lake, its finest feature, was known for the fishing in summer and skating in winter; miniature boats sailed it then and still do today. Originally, the area was still semi-rural (yes, children, Holly was a dirt road, and there was no bridge across Cherry Creek), and the land belonged to a dairy before the city annexed it for a park.
Lollipop Lake has since been drained, lined with bentonite and had a storage well and pump installed, making it something less than natural, but it's still a haven for ducks and geese (perhaps a few too many of the latter), as well as egrets, cormorants and the occasional pelican or heron -- blue and night herons both. Red-winged blackbirds call from the reeds at the lake's eastern end, and swallows and gulls swoop over the water; at the blue time of dusk, you can also spot pinging bats fluttering in the trees.
Continue reading for more about Garland Park.