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:
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.