Civic Center Voices: Nigel Besson

“I’m originally from Rhode Island. I studied plant science at the University of Rhode Island. Plants have always been my biggest love. I can now do that full time as the Lead Horticulturalist for Civic Center Park. When we finish our designs at the end of the year, we have anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 plants, and the crew plays a huge role in making that possible. It’s very satisfying for me that everybody loves what they do. Everybody’s here to make sure the plants thrive just like our community.

One of my favorite things about this job is community involvement. When I was going through the interview process for this role, I knew that was going to be a big part of the job, but I guess I’ve never really knew how much. There is a crew of folks from Civic Center WORKS and @bayaud_enterprises that come three days a week to help. On top of that we have Civic Center SPARKLES volunteers that come out once or twice a week all through the summer. It’s a massive difference from what the park previously looked like. I am all for community involvement.

I think as far as the infrastructure of the park goes, it’s one of the coolest parks we have. Right now, we’re sitting in the theater that’s 150 some odd years old and we have pictures of it being built that are all grainy and black and white. It’s cool to think of while I’m sitting right here.

When you’re standing in this park and you’re looking at the courthouse you can see the mountains in the background. And if you’re up in the top of the state house you can see a lot of almost the entirety of Colorado from right here. I like to think of this as the heart of Colorado and it expand from here.

Nigel Besson is the Lead Horticulturalist for Civic Center Park. He works with Civic Center Conservancy, @therealcityofdenver and @denverparksrec to beautify the park each year. #CivicCenterVoices

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