DENVER IS GETTING SET TO CLOSE CIVIC CENTER PARK FOR A CLEANUP AND RESTORATION PERIOD. THE LARK HAS BECOME A CENTER FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS. CITY OFFICIALS SAY ACCUMULATED TRASH... HAZARDOUS WASTE... AND RODENT INFESTATIONS ARE CREATING A PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM.
RIGHT NOW... WE'RE TALKING WITH DENVER PARKS AND RECREATION DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SCOTT GILMORE.
-- Civic Center Park will close to the public starting Wednesday, Sept. 15
-- There is no set date on when the park will reopen. But officials said they expect the cleanup to take a few weeks.
--The city said health officials have noted a number of health hazards in the area, which is populated by street campers, and that the park and areas nearby “have become a hotspot for violence, crime, drug sales and substance misuse.”
--According to the city, health officials found:
• “litter and food waste that attract bugs and rodents;
• “dozens of rodent burrows;
• “human and pet waste which contribute to the spread of disease and impact water quality;
• “and improperly discarded needles and other drug paraphernalia that creates risks to people visiting the area and to workers tasked with maintaining the area.”