Thundercloud Park sits atop a buried water storage tank and provides a panoramic view of the entire metro area and front range with an elevation of 5574 feet. I believe the name refers to the summer afternoon thunderclouds that roll over the metro area from the front range usually moving eastward to the plains. It was funded by a 1974 Park Bond election, dedicated in 1975, and is one of nine water storage tanks in Arvada.
I moved into the area in 2013 and live in the Hackberry Hill Neighborhood north of the park. I take my family there often for picnics and playtime. I immediately noticed remnants of a small rudimentary compass rose and fading yellow circular running track lines. At the time, I thought it was a wonderful idea and that it would soon disappear. Now, in 2021, it is unnoticeable and mostly forgotten.
The invite to participate in the LandMark Project was an opportunity I could not pass up. I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to make a new and more prominent compass rose; it would bring many benefits to the community. Its educational value, the promotion of conversation about the surrounding areas, and a location that can act as an ideal meeting place. I also wanted to incorporate larger than life geometric shapes and pathways that people could follow for exercise and play. With a circumference at approximately 785 feet, it gives visitors the chance to view distant locations and discover or rediscover sites both near and far.
I painted 1/4 mile x 4″ white lines, eight 20′ x 18′ blue arrows, and eight 5′ x 6′ black Old English letters. It took approximately 64 hours in June of 2021 and completed on Father’s day.
Commissioned by: LandMark, Arvada Arts and Culture Commission, and Arvada Parks and Recreation @ Thundercloud Park