Friday, 7/26 – FREE Movie in the Park: Black Panther + Food Truck!

On Saturday, July 6th, 2024, our community came together for a day full of delicious food trucks, vibrant world music, and talented artists like face painters and caricature artists. Residents engaged in fun, crafty activities that highlighted the diversity and inclusivity of our neighborhood.

Take a peek at a few of our most cherished memories from our first-ever Painted Prairie Spirit Day. We’re thankful for the overwhelming support and participation from our community. See you all next year!

Did you know that Colorado boasts the second-largest aerospace economy in the United States, home to over 300 aerospace companies?

According to the Aurora Economic Development Council (AEDC), the aerospace and defense sectors are pivotal drivers of our local and state economies. With five military commands and three Air Force bases—highlighted by Buckley Air Force Base—these facilities attract top talent and foster ancillary industries within Aurora. 

Private companies specializing in aerospace, cybersecurity, and space missions have positioned our city as a premier destination for industry leaders nationwide, solidifying Colorado’s status as a leader in aerospace employment. With an easy commute (in some cases – less than 20 minutes) to the Buckley Air Force Base, the U.S. Space Port, and many local aerospace and defense companies, Painted Prairie is the perfect location for civilians and military personnel to make a home in our community.

From Air Defense to Space Tourism

Located approximately 10 miles from Painted Prairie, the U.S. Space Port is a key aerospace facility aiming to establish Colorado as a central hub for commercial space activities. Its mission includes supporting both government and private sector space missions, from satellite launches to potential space tourism ventures.

This initiative leverages Colorado’s robust aerospace infrastructure and expertise, complementing the state’s existing network of aerospace companies and research institutions.

Buckley Air Force Base and National Security

Buckley Air Force Base plays a crucial role in national defense as home to the 460th Space Wing, which oversees global missile warning and space surveillance systems. The base supports over 93,000 active duty, National Guard, Reserve, and retired personnel, along with their families. Its strategic location in Aurora and Colorado’s thriving aerospace community makes it a cornerstone for critical operations.

Economic Impact

Buckley Air Force Base alone employs over 12,000 personnel, stimulating local industries like healthcare, retail, housing, and education. The base’s contracts with local businesses further bolster the regional economy, extending its impact beyond direct employment.

Collaboration and Innovation

The Denver Metro area benefits from a highly educated workforce from local universities, specializing in aerospace, engineering, and technology. These institutions collaborate with aerospace and defense contractors on research projects, offering students real-world training. This synergy between public, private, and academic sectors drives innovation, contributes billions to Colorado’s economy, and supports tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. 

Colorado leads the nation with a concentration in private-sector aerospace employment, five times the national average (AEDC).

Endless Opportunities

Painted Prairie’s location within Aurora’s Platinum Triangle offers numerous benefits, including proximity to many of the high-paying jobs and employers in engineering, administration, research, manufacturing, and bioscience. The area boasts top-tier educational institutions like Colorado State University and the University of Colorado, providing students with opportunities to learn alongside industry experts.

Whether you’re part of the aerospace and defense industries or not, Aurora’s robust economic landscape makes it an ideal place to settle down and thrive. With the region poised for growth, Painted Prairie stands at the heart of this emerging community.

To discover more about the area and Painted Prairie, reach out to our Relocation Expert, Michelle Tripp, at [email protected].

Painted Prairie also brings home two more Grand Awards for Best Landscape Architecture for a Community and Best Community Land Plan at Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC)’s Gold Nugget Awards

Painted Prairie, has done it again! We were the top award winner in three categories at the 61st annual PCBC Gold Nugget awards ceremony, held June 19, 2024, at the Westin Resort in Anaheim, Calif. We brought home Grand Awards for Masterplan Community of the Year, Best Landscape Architecture, and Best Community Land Plan. We also won an Award of Merit for Best-On-The-Boards Site Plan for our future Town Center development.

“This is a significant achievement for a community to win the Gold Nugget Grand Award for Masterplan Community of the Year and be past Community of the Year winners at the local and national level,” said Lisa Parrish, Judging Chairperson, and Competition Manager for the Gold Nugget Awards. “With this win, Painted Prairie is an international winner – which is extremely rare and above and beyond the norm for a community in our industry to win Community of the Year three times in three different competitions.”

The Gold Nugget Awards are the nation’s oldest and most prestigious residential design awards. Since 1963, the awards represent the best of the best in innovative architecture, planning, and construction. This year, 675 entries were considered by the industry’s top experts before selecting the final winners. Judges base their final decisions on several categories including Community infrastructure/Landscaping, Site Plan Creativity and Solutions, Effective and Efficient Land Use, Pedestrian-Scaled and Pedestrian-Friendly, Respects Local Character, Delivers Genuine Experience of Place, Amenities, and Connectivity to Community Circulation.

“When we sat down with Mark Johnson at Civitas and Peter Calthorpe to create the vision for Painted Prairie, we didn’t do it so we could win awards,” said Chris Fellows, President of Resolute Strategies. “We set out to design a great place for people to live and create a home they could be proud of. Since then, we’ve received Community of the Year honors from three different sets of judges with different sets of criteria who have independently decided that Painted Prairie is truly a best-in-class community. That speaks volumes to the dedication of our partners who have worked so hard to make dreams come true for our residents and push the boundaries of what is possible for the city of Aurora. I’m very pleased and honored by the awards.”

Painted Prairie is the only other Colorado community designed by the same creative planning team–Civitas and Calthorpe & Associates—who successfully transformed Stapleton Airport into a world-renowned, successful urban redevelopment now known as Central Park. The Painted Prairie ownership group is a collaboration of long-time Denver developers Alberta Development Partners and Resolute Strategies.

Before a shovel was turned, the developers of Painted Prairie stood at its highest natural point and began to take in the view that the early pioneers had when they first settled on the very same prairie. At that point, the vision came into focus for a spectacular park (later aptly named High Prairie Park) and a connected system of green spaces, outdoor living places, and natural playscapes that would weave its way throughout our community.

Our Parks Come First – Literally

At Painted Prairie, our parks and gardens are our number one amenity – we even won a national Best Landscape Award! The park system was (and is) so important that before any houses were built, we ensured our very first residents were able to access and take advantage of our parks instead of waiting after they moved in. To this day, we’re continually adding and evolving our parks to create new experiences and new places to plant, play, and ponder throughout the day as the community grows.

Back in 2020, our first park – High Prairie Park – was planted. This 22-acre park stretches across the heart of Painted Prairie and is an open-air masterpiece filled with gathering spots, playgrounds, art installations, gardens, and green expanses that flow across the natural rise and fall of the prairie. Providing great play places such as our Lincoln Logs, The Outpost, our whimsical Fort, Adventure Run, and gathering places like the Crimson Pavilions and BBQs, and the Beach – High Prairie Park inspires adventure, exploration, and connection for residents and visitors.

Places to Set Down Roots

Painted Prairie’s community garden system was thoughtfully designed to create connections with the land and the neighbors that call our community home. Sprinkled along linear parks such as The Greenway and tucked into sunny corners just outside front doors, our community gardens give residents a place to gather and literally set down roots each growing season.

Rooted in Prairie Traditions

While designing our parks, we set out to create places that honored not only the land, but the people who first settled the landscape. Drawing inspiration from Harvey Dunn’s, The Prairie is My Garden, a stunning painting of an early homesteading woman standing proud, strong and mighty with her children on the prairie backdrop. She reminds us of the fortitude required to live here before the great industrial revolution tamed the land and its waters. The colors and textures of the plants, the breeze, and the electric sky are all elements we have tried to capture and enhance for people to discover in the neighborhood park.

Pocketful of Parks

Wherever you are in our community, chances are you’re never too far away from an adventure. Nine engaging pocket parks are woven through our community offering respite and gathering spots for neighbors and friends. Our park system is interconnected by a series of open space tracts, garden courts, and tree-lined walks. This ribbon of trails provides accessible paths large enough for bikes, skates, and wheelchairs for easy access to everything Painted Prairie has to offer.

More Parks on the Horizon

The Park at Town Center will be the heart of an urban landscape – a town square surrounded by residential and commercial spaces. Indulge in tasty fare, get your caffeine fix at the local coffee shop, enjoy live music and movies in the open space, or bring a picnic basket to settle in for a leisurely snack – the Park at Town Center will have everything you need to enjoy the Urban Prairie. The Park at Town Center and Rose and Violet Parks – two new neighborhood parks – are currently under construction and are expected to be completed later this year.

In the future, Pioneer Park will be your go-to place for sports fields, a potential public school site, and more than 17 acres of room to gather and play. Perfect for family gatherings, picnics, and school events, the park will be located within an easy bike or walk off Picadilly Trail. The park is slated for future development.

History will come alive at the future Prairie Retreat Park. Bigger than High Prairie Park and packed with history, this new park will be located on the final headgate of the historic 71-mile Highline Canal. The park will offer multiple recreational and educational spaces for residents and visitors and serve as the gateway to local regional trails, the Cottonwood Grove Picnic Area, and historical points of interest throughout its 35 acres. Prairie Retreat Park is also slated for future development as our community grows.

Want to learn more about our parks? Check out our parks brochure here. Want to stay in the loop on all things Painted Prairie? Sign up for our newsletter to get monthly updates delivered to your inbox.

As a grandparent, deciding where to spend your retirement years is a decision not taken lightly. Many Boomers and Gen Xers are relocating to Colorado for a lot of reasons. While the reasons are many, three big ones stand out: being closer to grandkids, the exceptional quality of life, and access to top-notch healthcare. Why do these factors make Colorado (and Painted Prairie) the perfect place for this next chapter in your life? Take a look below.

Being Closer to Grandkids

Colorado’s (and specifically, Aurora’s) job outlook has attracted many young professionals to the Painted Prairie community and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. For more information about the anticipated growth in the Northeast Aurora quadrant, take a look at our recent blog post highlighting the potential in our area.

We all know that setting down roots and establishing yourself in a new community is important to many young families. As our families settle, the flexibility of retirement and the need to stay active, and engaged in their grandkids’ lives becomes one of the most compelling reasons for a move to Colorado. The joy of watching them grow up, attending their school events, and being an active part of their daily lives is one of the biggest motivating factors in Baby Chasing – a term coined for grandparents following their grown children to new areas to be closer to their grandchildren.

Science also has something to say about the benefits of living closer to your grandchildren. Studies have shown that close relationships between grandparents and grandchildren can lead to happier and healthier lives for both (American Psychological Association, 2023). By living close by, grandparents can provide support, share wisdom, and create lasting memories with their grandkids—important for their development and grandma and grandpa’s emotional well-being.

Exceptional Quality of Life

Colorado is renowned for its exceptional quality of life. From its stunning natural scenery to its vibrant cultural scene, there’s always something to explore and enjoy. The state offers over 300 days of sunshine a year, promoting an active, outdoor lifestyle (Visit Aurora, 2022). This kind of environment is perfect for retirees looking to stay active and engaged. Moreover, Colorado’s commitment to healthy living and sustainability ensures that active adults who move to Aurora are met with similar values and lifestyle aspirations.

For active grandparents, Painted Prairie makes it easy to get out and explore our parks, and other attractions with their grandkids. Our proximity to the cultural and entertainment attractions in and around Aurora and Downtown Denver is an easy drive to spend the day at the Cherry Creek Reservoir, hike the many trails in the City of Aurora park system, explore the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, go to the Denver Zoo, or take in a Colorado Rockies game on a hot summer day. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or someone who enjoys a peaceful day at the park, Painted Prairie is perfectly positioned for you to stay active and engaged.

Need to jet away to visit family in another state? With easy access to Denver International Airport, you’re just a few hours away from a multitude of domestic or international locations. Painted Prairie is an easy drive to the airport for convenient travel anywhere in the world.

Access to Top-Notch Healthcare

Health is a top priority, especially as we age. Colorado is home to some of the nation’s best healthcare facilities, including the renowned UCHealth University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (U.S. News & World Report, 2023), the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, and several new medical campuses, you are never far from expert medical care. Access to high-quality medical care ensures you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and receive prompt, expert treatment when needed. Additionally, Colorado consistently ranks high in healthcare quality and accessibility, offering peace of mind that your health needs will be well taken care of (WalletHub, 2024).

If your family has made the decision to move to Painted Prairie, and you’re considering the same move, here’s something to think about – moving here is about embracing the Colorado lifestyle. Being near your grandchildren, enjoying an outstanding quality of life, and having access to superior healthcare make this move a perfect fit. Want to learn more about our community? Contact our relocation expert, Michelle at [email protected].

Our list of world-class builders keeps growing! We’re thrilled to welcome two new new builders — Toll Brothers and Pulte Homes — to Painted Prairie later this year.

Toll Brothers has announced three new attached home styles – brownstones, rowhomes, and tandem town options at the Town Center at Painted Prairie. Uniquely designed to fit your active lifestyle, these brand-new homes bring walkable, urban living right to your doorstep. Situated in the heart of the Town Center, residents have easy access to many amenities within a short walk from their front door. 

Built with the homeowner in mind, Pulte Homes offers floorplans to fit your lifestyle and budget. Beginning this fall, Pulte Homes will bring new floorplans and models to provide more options for Painted Prairie buyers. Steps away from pocket parks and green spaces, these new single-family homes are great choices for first-time buyers, empty nesters, and families looking for a place to call home. 

Want to stay in the loop about new homes and builders coming to Painted Prairie? Set up your email preferences here

Painted Prairie’s award-winning event series is back, and to celebrate our fifth year of hosting unforgettable events, we’re taking it up a notch. Mark your calendars and get ready to shop, watch movies, and dance to local favorites. There’s something for everyone. 

Open Air Market – Monthly throughout the summer and early fall – 8:30 am to 11:30 am

Start your day at Painted Prairie and support your neighbors and community. Join us for locally sourced produce, hand-crafted goods, food trucks, and a bounce house for the kids to burn off that early morning energy. 

Music in the Park

Soul School: June 21, 2024 • 7:00 – 9:00 pm at High Prairie Park

Get ready to party as we celebrate the start of summer with Soul School and its unique brand of Motown, oldies, and funk at High Prairie Park. Local food trucks will be open and ready at 6pm to serve up tasty treats, so come hungry and ready to have fun!

Hazel Miller & The Collective: August 16, 2024 • 7:00 – 9:00 pm at High Prairie Park

We’re rocking the park with Colorado’s one-and-only Hazel Miller & The Collective when they bring their eclectic mix of jazz, R&B, Blues, and original music. Food trucks start serving at 6pm!

Movie in the Park

The Painted Prairie Movie in the Park series is back and better than ever. Grab your lawn chairs, enjoy a delicious meal from our local food trucks (start at 6pm!), and watch classic, all-time favorite movies while taking in the views of the Front Range.

July 26, 2024 • 8:30 PM (Sunset)

Black Panther

Catch all the action when Black Panther hits the outdoor screen at High Prairie Park! Popcorn, candy, and sweet treats await for early moviegoers.

September 13, 2024 • 7:10 PM (Sunset) Double Feature!

Encanto and The Barbie Movie

Bring a sleeping bag for the kids and let them “camp out” while watching and singing along to Encanto. Stay for the double feature at 8:45 pm. — The Barbie Movie.

Make it a party and come dressed to impress in your best Barbie Ken costume for our second feature. Popcorn and candy concessions are available for purchase at the park while supplies last.

Prairie Harvest Fest – October 5, 2024 • 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at High Prairie Park

The Northeast Aurora’s most popular event is back for the fifth year in a row! We’re ready to once again celebrate all things fall at Prairie Harvest Fest.

Costume contest, local food trucks, live DJ, local food trucks, local artisan booths, carriage rides, and more! You don’t want to miss this year’s event. 

To learn more about our 2024 Events Calendar and to RSVP, visit our events page for details.

*Weather permitting; vendors subject to change; concessions while supplies last.

A huge thank you to all the residents and friends who joined us to celebrate all things spring at the Painted Prairie Spring Fling. Over 250 kids and adults spent the perfectly, sunny afternoon hunting eggs, munching on tasty spring cookies, and meeting up with the Easter Bunny for pictures. Another big “Thank You” to Boy Scout Troop 630 for volunteering to help us create a successful event for all! We can’t wait to see everyone again next year!


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