Civic Center Conservancy
1410 Grant Street, Suite A301
Denver, Colorado 80203

The Civic Center Conservancy

Park conservancies are an outgrowth of private citizens wanting to do more for public spaces than government can do on its own. Gaining steam across the U.S. over the past three decades, conservancies of varying sizes and models have been established out of concern for parks that government entities had neither the capacity nor the resources to maintain, program or enhance adequately. Conservancies are private, non-profit, park-benefit organizations that partner with government but raise money independently to invest in parks under action plans mutually agreed upon with their government partners. Key examples include the Central Park Conservancy, the Battery Park Conservancy and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.


Formed in 2004 by a group of private citizens passionate about revitalizing Civic Center Park, the Civic Center Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with the City and County of Denver to restore, enhance and activate Denver’s historic Civic Center Park - elevating and sustaining this historic urban oasis as a vibrant and iconic cultural and community hub. The Conservancy's efforts focus around the following four areas: advocacy for park needs and infrastructure improvements; events and programming to activate Civic Center; public awareness and engagement; and fundraising for capital improvements, activities and initiatives to support and revitalize the park. The Conservancy has a formal cooperative agreement with the City and County of Denver designating it as the official fundraising vehicle for Civic Center Park.


Key accomplishments to date include:

  • Played key role in creation of 2005 Civic Center Park Master Plan, identifying priorities for infrastructure improvements, amenities and enhanced connectivity.
  • Advocated for Civic Center’s inclusion in 2007 Better Denver bond initiative. Denver voters approved $9.4+ million to restore the Greek Theater, Voorhies Memorial and Broadway Terrace.  Phase I completed in 2010; phase II will be completed in 2011.  The Civic Center Conservancy Design Committee provided input on the Broadway Terrace and nearby Bannock Street improvements.
  • Partnered with Denver Parks and Recreation and Mundus Bishop Design to inform design guidelines for restoration projects and new park features; adopted by Denver Landmark Commission in 2009.
  • Partnered with Downtown Denver Partnership to expand BID maintenance and ambassadorial services into Civic Center in 2009, 2010 and 2011.  The services – focusing on litter pickup, graffiti removal and spot pressure washing – are in addition to the daily services already provided by Denver Parks and Recreation.
  • Hosted variety of arts and cultural programs to activate the park and engage the public in its future, including the weekly summer Civic Center EATS Outdoor Café entering its ninth year in 2014, and the  annual Independence Eve Celebration featuring a free concert and fireworks/light display; the Civic Center Bike-In Movie Series, which launched in summer 2011, and Civic Center MOVES, a free fitness series that launched in 2014.


The Civic Center Conservancy is currently working to help the City develop and implement a long-term vision for the McNichols Building and create a Centennial Campaign plan to spur private investment in Civic Center enhancements, amenities and programming.


In May 2011, the Civic Center Conservancy was honored with a Downtown Denver Award for contributing to the vibrancy of downtown Denver.  In November 2011, the national City Parks Alliance designated Civic Center as a "Frontline Park," recognizing it as a "leading example of urban parks creating economic, environmental and social capital through innovative partnerships."  In 2013, the Civic Center Conservancy joined Historic Denver and Denver Parks & Recreation in receiving a Colorado Preservation Inc. "State Honor Award" for stewardship of Civic Center Park.