When I moved to Denver in 1971, City Park played a major role in my decision to buy a building at 16th and York Street. While trying to make the decision, my wife and I had a picnic in City Park. At the time, City Park appeared rundown and neglected, much like Fairmount Park in Philadelphia where we had previously lived. Ah...perfect...a little bit of "natural" nature.
Over the years since then, many proposals and much money has been spent on the Park. Back then, I learned of a group that seemed to oppose the expansion of the Zoo and The Museum into the park land. Each proposal to expand the footprint of these fine institutions into the Park was met with opposition. But that opposition was overcome as both expanded and the Park continued to shrink.
About 5 years ago, I learned of the insidious plan of Denver Water and Wastewater Management, in secret collusion with the big corporate polluters, to pump the toxins from Lowry Landfill into the lakes and greens of our parks via the newly "recycled" water and the infamous "purple pipes". (Go here or search this site for "purple pipe".)
Before the death of my friend and mentor Adrienne Anderson, who had led the battle for public awareness of this "purple-pipe water", from a brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme, she refused to go to the parks fed by this contaminated water. There was the inevitable speculation after her death that her brain tumor may have been caused by her exposure over the years to plutonium and other radionuclides, such as those found in this "purple pipe water". We will never know.
Now that the Zoo expansion is nearly complete, the Museum expansion continues, and the plans are laid for a "loop playground", I fear that, for me, it is goodbye to the once "natural" nature of City Park.