City Park’s Water: Jeff Prink, Denver Parks and Recreation Irrigation Project Manager to Speak, March 1

As concerns about the effects of Global Warming are felt throughout the world, Denver, like other U.S. cities, struggles to meet the challenges of a warming climate. With Denver’s dry, sunny weather, its residents are particularly attuned to the pressing need to conserve water and establish gardens and landscapes that support water-conserving strategies. In the 2018 City Park Master Plan Update, recommendations supported new strategies for conserving water and creating exciting new, native landscapes in City Park. For example, the Master Plan suggests transforming the expansive blue grass lawn of the South Meadow (just south of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and bordering Colorado Blvd) into “a native grass meadow…and adding cool and warm season grasses and wildflowers consisting of native and hardy species…and plant species that provide habitat for pollinators, wildlife, and birds.”  (City Park Master Plan Update, Recommendations, Water, Page 52)
South Meadow, City Park
To learn how City Park’s irrigation system will support new concepts for creating water-friendly gardens and landscapes in the future, join us for a presentation of the City Park Irrigation Master Plan by Jeff Prink, Denver Parks and Recreation Irrigation Project Manager. The Zoom program will take place on March 1 at 6:30 pm following the CPFAN board meeting at 5:30 pm. Click on the link below to register. You may attend the 5:30 pm CPFAN board meeting and the program that follows or just come on board at 6:30 for the program.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Mar 1, 2022 05:30 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtcOuprzgpHtDjvuaIFbkRaKCpOcymd9O8

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Remember to click the Zoom link at 6:30 pm if you only want to attend the program. This program is sponsored by City Park Friends and Neighbors and City Park Alliance, the two groups who – along with you! – advocate for City Park.

Adopt-A-Flowerbed Reblooms!
Deb Gallegos, DPR & Maria Flora, Adopt-A-Flowerbed volunteer
We reached out to you a year ago to help us launch a volunteer gardening program in City Park – and so many of you reached back!!! As the COVID pandemic strained the capacity of our Denver Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) Horticulturists and Maintenance staff to care for our park, you signed up to implement DPR’s Adopt-A-Flowerbed program. What a difference your commitment made.

More than fifty volunteers showed up in May, 2021 for orientations sponsored by Adam Smith, the Superintendent of the East District for Denver Parks and Recreation. Neighbors from all around the park participated, including Park Hill, South City Park, Whittier, Congress, Cheesman, Cherry Creek – and beyond! Smith and City Park Horticulturists outlined gardening responsibilities that included watering, weeding, pruning, and fertilizing. Participants organized into teams and picked the gardens they wanted to maintain.

As the gardening season progressed from Spring to Fall, volunteers gathered in teams or individually – sometimes weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or whatever worked for them – and began to work on larger team projects organized by the Horticulturists as well. Sometimes the word would go out that the Benedict Rose Garden or Sopris or Thatcher needed help and a group of a dozen or more would show up to make it happen. Gardening was always accompanied by much laughter, trading of gardening tips and camaraderie. Getting to know the City Park Horticulturists was a particular bonus.

City Park’s Adopt-a-Flowerbed volunteers racked up 1200 volunteer gardening hours in 2021 – the first year of the program. We are well into organizing for the 2022 season now – with new materials and concepts for making the program even better and more enjoyable. Please join us! GPHC Parks and Open Space Committee, City Park Friends and Neighbors and City Park Alliance are City Park’s Adopt-A-Flowerbed sponsors. Email mjflora@msn.com or ggarnsey@ecentral.com with your interest and we’ll get back to you with more info and updates. This is a flexible and happy volunteer program we know you’ll enjoy as you keep our City Park, the People’s Park – beautifully blooming!

Birding Tour in City Park
Bald Eagle at Duck Lake, City Park, February 19, 2022 Credit: Henry J. Feldman
Prepare for a special treat in City Park! On Saturday, March 12 at 7 am, Denver Field Ornithologists (DFO) will sponsor a Field Trip to view the birds in City Park. The leader of this special excursion is Patrick O’Driscoll, editor of DFO’s Lark Bunting newsletter. Here is Patrick’s description of the tour:

“At a time of transition, we’ll stroll throughout an uncommonly birdy urban hub of central Denver habitat. The returning Double-crested Cormorants at Duck Lake will be growing as the big birds build and spruce up colony nests and perform courtship rituals. The last of thousands of overwintering Cackling and Canada Goose flocks will be leaving. Resident songbirds, corvids, raptors and some winter visitors (sparrows, ducks, etc.) will continue, with a few early spring migrants perhaps dropping in. Dress for the weather and bring water/snacks.”

The tour is rated as easy. Attendees will meet at the parking strip on the north side of Ferril Lake.

To register: https://dfobirds.org/FieldTrips/Register.aspx?TripID=13854

February Sightings:
Double -Crested Cormorants, Female Northern Shoveler, Male Hooded Meganser: Henry J. Feldman
Ferril Lake birds: Susan Langley
Tribute to Larry Ambrose
by Dave Felice
A pillar of community activism in Denver and great friend of the city’s parks, Larry Ambrose, is dead at age 76. Ambrose died on January 28, 2022. A native of Pueblo and graduate of Central High School, Larry had an amazing reach and helped shaped the destiny of his adopted city.

Ambrose, a hypnotizing story teller, excelled in many fields. He is as responsible as anyone for the survival of the little Denver house where Golda Meir once lived. Larry oversaw moving the house to the Auraria campus in 1988 as head of the newly-created Auraria Foundation. In the post he loved to smooze with the campus community.

Ambrose was a staunch advocate for the protection of City Park. He fought fiercely against city plans for park events requiring paid admission, such as the proposed Mile High Music Festival in 2007. Developed secretly months before being publicly revealed, the festival would have closed the western third of City Park for a three-day rock concert.

Denver Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Larry Ambrose on March 13, 2021 for his longtime work in preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Denver’s neighborhoods.
Larry opposed excessive noise and congestion coming from park events. He helped arrange sound monitoring for a heavy metal rock band performance. The event was so disruptive city officials told promoters they could not return.

In 2010, Ambrose formed a coalition of neighborhood representatives to oppose city plans for an outdoor movie theater on the lawn behind the Museum of Nature and Science. The proposal was withdrawn.

Ambrose also advocated in favor of rebuilding Dustin Redd playground on a neighborhood scale, control of park zoning by the Parks Department, and against a proposed gas-producing incinerator at the zoo.

Larry also provided valuable inspiration and guidance behind the scenes, leading to formation of City Park Friends and Neighbors as a Registered Neighborhood Organization in 2014.

Before settling in Denver, Larry was heavily involved in entertainment, including a stint managing a renowned Hollywood nightclub. He took on the establishment by successfully organizing a cabaret workers union. In the 1970s, Ambrose operated a booking and talent agency in Denver, and was co-owner of a nightclub in Lakewood.

Along the way, Ambrose earned a Bachelor of Sciences in Business from CU-Boulder, a Masters degree in Arts Administration from UCLA and a Juris Doctorate from DU. Even with his degree, however, he was never a practicing attorney.

Always proud of his hometown, in the early 21st century, Larry managed the Pueblo Convention Center. He was a close partner of his wife of 48 years, Jane Parker-Ambrose, in her amazing kite business, and the promotion of her international One Sky One World Kite Fly for Peace festival.

Ambrose was very active in Denver politics. He ran twice as an unsuccessful city council candidate. In 2015, those disgruntled with the Michael B. Hancock administration rallied around Larry with a remarkable two percent of the vote as an undeclared write-in mayoral candidate. Those voting did so in part because they knew Larry as a champion of parks. He was far more qualified to run the Parks and Recreation Department than most of the people recent mayors had appointed.

As much as anything, Larry was a community activist. He was a long-term president of Sloans Lake Neighborhood Association. As president of Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC) from 2012 to 2016, he helped shape the direction and influence of the city’s neighborhoods. He formed and headed the INC parks committee to protect, enhance, and expand the city’s park system.

Always ready with a story, Larry created a marvelous portrait of the world around him. He was a captivating presence who worked to improve everything he touched. Not afraid to take on city hall, he endlessly had a vision of uplifting everyone. This came out particularly in his last job, executive director of the Southwest Improvement Council in the less affluent Brentwood area.

Long-standing health problems, including a bizarre cancer of the ankle, led to Larry’s death. His funeral was at Emanuel Cemetery at Fairmount on February 1. Besides Jane, he is survived by numerous cousins. Most of all, Larry is remembered by the multitude of people he met, educated, entertained, and assisted.

We miss him.
Donations are Welcome!

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