Little Raven Park
Little Raven Park Naming Celebration
The park is named in honor of Little Raven, also known as Hosa (Young Crow), who served as one of the principal chiefs of the Southern Arapaho People from 1855 until he died in 1889. Little Raven was known as a peacemaker between native tribes of Colorado and white settlers in the 1800s.
Tribal government officials and cultural leaders of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes traveled from Oklahoma to participate in the historic landmark naming celebration. The event included cultural celebration songs performed by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes drum group, which included OT Sankey, Fred Mosqueda, Phoenix Whiteshirt, Christian Wassana, Billy Youngbird, Ethan Byrd, and Jeremy White Buffalo.
Enessa Janes, the City of Arvada's Director of Vibrant Community and Neighborhoods, gave welcoming and closing remarks for the celebration. Chief Gordon Yellowman gave the invocation, while Tribal representatives who provided remarks included Governor Reggie Wassana, Speaker of Legislature Travis Ruiz, Cheyenne District 3 Legislator Byron Byrd, and Arapaho Culture Coordinator Fred Mosqueda on behalf of the Little Raven Family.
Rory Little Raven, Troy Little Raven, Dennis Little Raven, and Brianna Little Raven performed the ceremonial ribbon cutting in front of the Little Raven Park sign to conclude the celebration.
Park Naming Project Background
Little Raven Park is located at 12140 W. 57th Ave. in Arvada, just north of the Van Bibber Creek Trail and southeast of the Ward Road and W. 58th Avenue intersection. Park amenities include a multi-use play field, a shade pavilion with picnic tables, new playground equipment, native vegetation and open space, direct access to the Van Bibber Creek Trail and more.
On April 17, 2023, the Arvada City Council passed a resolution to name the new park Little Raven Park (YouTube) following a community engagement project led by the Arvada Park Advisory Committee (APAC). The naming project requested suggested and appropriate names for the park, and a community member who lives near the park suggested the name Little Raven (born c. 1810 – died 1889).
The park naming project included a Speak Up Arvada survey that was held Jan. 30 through Feb. 27, 2023. The survey was targeted specifically to those who live, work and frequent the new park. There were three ways community members could participate in the survey:
- Selecting your preferred park name generated by APAC
- Offering your own idea(s) for a park name
- Showing support for name ideas submitted by other community members
After the survey closed, APAC analyzed the data collected from the survey. Based on feedback received from the community, the APAC naming subcommittee recommended three names (Little Raven, Strawberry and Vista Verde) for City Council's consideration. Only park name ideas that followed the City's Naming Policy of Public Spaces were considered.
The land where the Little Raven Park is located, and the area surrounding it to the north and east, was annexed by the City of Arvada in 2018. The land to the north and east of the park is now the new SaBell housing development. It was named after SaBell’s Nursery that was previously located in the area.
The seven acres of property where the park is located is part of the Van Bibber Greenbelt project. The Van Bibber Greenbelt includes Van Bibber Park, located west of the new park across Ward Road. Van Bibber Creek, which runs along the south side of the new park, is named after Isaac Van Bibber, who settled a farm near the creek in 1859. According to PLAN Jeffco, “farms along the creek raised wheat, oats, corn, hay, and strawberries.”