Occupy Denver: Parks and Rec launches expensive park clean-up, protesters help
Courtesy of Tim TiptonFor two days, the additional presence of police officers and Parks and Recreation maintenance workers has occasionally dwarfed the numbers of actual occupiers at Civic Center Park. Since Saturday's riot, officers have increased their numbers at the occupation in efforts to monitor the group, but Public Works and Parks and Rec employees joined on Monday when they noticed graffiti in the park. The freelance art added to the area is an unwelcome addition given Civic Center Park's $3 million in renovations last year.
During a routine check-up on the park, city officials discovered evidence of paint, felt markers and chalk on the sidewalk and structures Tuesday morning. Their concern was not, of course, with the chalk, which has maintained a consistent role as a way for protesters to express their opinions over the past few weeks. It was the paint and marker residue they objected to, in large part because it can be both difficult and expensive to remove from Civic Center's historical balistrades and walkways.
"We discovered some extensive tagging on the historic sculptures and structures in the park, which clearly we need to go in and clean up right away before it has time to soak in," says Kathy Green, communications director for Denver Parks and Recreation. "Our parks maintenance team went in yesterday and assessed the damage to the structures and the sculptures. The three tools that were used -- paint, chalk and markers -- are all against park policy, and there was a sense of urgency for the silver paint and felt markers."
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation maintenance crew This photo is one of a handful taken before clean-up began.
The clean-up process will take a few days and involves extensive power-washing in the areas that aren't too delicate to handle it. This week marks the first time Public Works and Parks and Recreation have teamed up on an extensive clean-up of the park during the occupation, as well as the first time the two parties have decided it needs one.
Kelsey Whipple City workers power-wash the sidewalk in front of Civic Center Park on Monday.