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DENVER (KDVR) — City crews have begun the closure of Denver’s Civic Center Park in the heart of downtown.

Crews showed up before the sun came up Wednesday morning to install fencing around the park’s perimeter and begin the planned cleanup.

The conditions at the park have been deteriorating over the past year. Trash, needles, leftover food, feces and rats have caused major environmental and health problems within the park. Park officials say drug use has led to criminal activity too.

Here’s what work the city has planned for Civic Center Park

  • Professional restoration of historical stone structures, which suffered graffiti and fire damage
  • Turf restoration, including rodent mitigation, reseeding and irrigation system upgrades
  • Tree trimming
  • Lighting upgrades

City officials have not said how long the cleanup will take or how long the closure will be in place.