There’s still room available in some of the Denver tours, and we hope you’ll consider signing up for one (or two) if you haven’t already.

On Thursday, May 1, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 or Friday, May 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30, you can tour Denver’s Parks and Neighborhoods, including the Denver Botanic Gardens. Toward the end of the 19th century, Frederick Law Olmstead made the case that verdant residential communities were appropriate and sustainable in the semiarid West. He illustrated how such a community could be developed in Colorado, taking advantage of mountain views, using water judiciously, respecting the prairie, and protecting the fragile land. Frederick Law Olmstead Jr. was subsequently instrumental, along with other landscape designers and Mayor Robert W. Speer, in developing the city’s park and parkway system. This tour will give you a good sense of Denver’s neighborhoods at a beautiful time of year, with spring flowers, fruit trees and lilacs in bloom. The tour’s first stop is City Park on the east side, home to the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science, and the final stop will be on the west side at Inspiration Point park. At the highest point of the city, you’ll have an uncluttered view of the Rocky Mountains. Your tour guide will be Carolyn Etter, former manager of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, who is a parks historian and advocate.

Also on Thursday from 1:00 to 5:00, or on Friday from 12:30 to 4:30, you can tour Denver’s Mountain Parks. In 1914, Frederick Law Olmstead Jr. prepared a “Mountain Park Preliminary Plan,” and city authorities started purchasing property and constructing roads based on his initial recommendations. While park planning in the city called for preservation of mountain views by restricting the height of buildings, in the mountains, views were protected by purchasing canyon walls, open meadows and distant peaks. This tour will take you to world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Lookout Mountain, and the scenic foothill towns of Evergreen and Golden.

If you have already registered for the conference and would like to sign up for a tour, please contact Susan Rawlyk at

Tom Riedel
Local Arrangements Co-chair