Denver will temporarily shut down a park that has devolved into a haven for drug users, crime and human waste.
Civic Center Park and the adjacent areas will close beginning next Wednesday “until further notice” as the city cleans up and restores the green space.
“The current challenges within Civic Center Park have reached a tipping point, creating conditions that put the public’s health and safety at risk,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement.
“This is the people’s park and we are taking steps so that everyone can once again feel safe and welcomed there,” the mayor said.
Officials said over the past “several months” conditions at the park have deteriorated.
Human and pet waste, an excess amount of rodent-attracting trash and needles and other drug paraphernalia have been spotted at the park in recent weeks.
Additionally, “the park and surrounding areas have become a hotspot for violence, crime, drug sales and substance misuse, jeopardizing the public’s ability to safely enjoy one of Denver’s treasured outdoor spaces,” the city said in a press release announcing the closure.
During the closure, the city will restore the park’s turf, address the rodent infestation, trim trees, install more lighting and reseed, among other upgrades.
“The goal of Denver Parks and Recreation is to restore Civic Center Park, Denver’s beloved National Historic Landmark in the heart of our city, by providing a safe, clean and inviting public space,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Parks and Recreation.