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New partnership ready to lead historic canal into the future

Canal Collaborative will formalize roles, responsibilities along the High Line Canal.

The High Line Canal Conservancy has formalized a public-private partnership with Denver Water and 11 jurisdictions to preserve, protect and enhance the 71-mile High Line Canal.

Members of the new Canal Collaborative will work together to support the canal corridor as it evolves from its role as an irrigation channel owned by Denver Water and expands into a new linear park and emerging stormwater management system. 

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Officials at a signing ceremony
Denver Water CEO/Manager Jim Lochhead takes part in a signing ceremony held Jan. 26 to officially launch the Canal Collaborative, a public-private partnership aimed at guiding the future of the High Line Canal. Photo credit: Denver Water.

The agreement creating the collaborative formalizes roles and responsibilities for the long-term management, funding and governance of the canal.

“This partnership was built on the premise that together we can do more for the canal than any one entity can do alone. The deep respect for varied local perspectives, combined with the power of the community’s vision and commitment has been a winning strategy that has resulted in a common vision and new governance structure to ensure the canal is cared for as a vital backbone of our region’s open space system for generations to come,” said Harriet Crittenden LaMair, executive director of the High Line Canal Conservancy. 

“Denver Water has a century-old canal that has outlived its usefulness,” said Jim Lochhead, CEO/Manager at Denver Water. “We wanted to transform the canal into a recreational and environmental crown jewel for the region and with the help of a dozen partners who shared the vision, we have come together to realize that vision through the Canal Collaborative.”

Watch the High Line Canal Conservancy’s State of the Canal news conference and learn about new projects along the canal in this TAP story.

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Group photo of the High Line Canal Collaborative agreement members
Several members of the newly formed Canal Collaborative gathered along the High Line Canal on Jan. 26, to celebrate the signing of the landmark partnership. Photo credit: Denver Water.

Left to right in the picture above are: Jim Lochhead, Denver Water CEO/Manager; Paula Herzmark, HLCC board chair; Harriet Crittenden LaMair, HLCC executive director; Nancy Sharpe, Arapahoe County Commissioner; Shannon Carter, Arapahoe County Open Spaces director; Tom Roode, head of Denver Water operations and maintenance; Kendra Black, Denver City Councilwoman; Scott Gilmore, deputy executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation. Photo credit: Denver Water.