Nettie Moore will be remembered as an activist for decades.
DENVER – Nettie Moore was a star of the West Colfax neighborhood of Denver. She expressed her opinion on the development and campaigned for the causes of the grassroots for many decades.
Moore, who lived in Denver for most of her life, died last week at the age of 96.
She is survived by her family – two children, eight grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren – although her entire community will remember her legacy as an activist.
As an old article on the North Denver News website describes, she describes her work as far-reaching. She fought for lights and curbs in the neighborhood, got new play equipment for a local park, and worked in community organizations. Moore worked in school dining rooms, fighting for bonds and taking on the task of writing letters to politicians for reasons she believed in.
Her family also lived and built what is now Utica Street. Even late in life, she campaigned for the growth of public transportation through RTD.
“I’ve been active in my life because I publicly spoke out for it every time something needed to be done,” she said in an interview with Denver 8 TV released in 2019.
Denver mourns the loss of Ms. Nettie Moore, a West Denver icon. ???? Over the years, she has been a mainstay at public gatherings, showing her selfless love for Denver and everyone who calls the Mile High City home.
Learn more about their life and legacy here: https://t.co/7iSYQFsbNE pic.twitter.com/6rx3zJfcXh
– Michael B. Hancock (@MayorHancock) February 12, 2021
Before Utica and all of Denver became what they are now, Moore said it was like living in Little House on the Prairie. When she saw the city grow, she didn’t complain about the whole change.
“The way I see it, people need to have places to live. And do I miss the sun in the morning, do I miss it when it goes down at night? Yes, but you know people still need to have shelter, ”she said in an interview with Denver 8.
While a playground and an affordable residential complex already have her name, Moore also said in the interview that she only wants to be remembered as a respectful person.
Still a proud member of their community, the Sloan’s Lake Citizens Facebook group posted this reminder about them:
An icon and hero of the quality of life of West Colfax and Villa Park Neighborhoods died last night at around 9:00 p.m. Mountain Time on February 8, 2021 at the age of 96.
In the neighborhoods of West Colfax, Sloan’s Lake and Villa Park, many activists are fighting for the health of their fellow citizens. Among the dozen of these heroes’ achievements in Denver, Colorado, Nettie Moore stood up for the place she loved most.
She began in 1927 at the age of three and lived in Lakewood-Dry Gulch in western Denver for 93 years. This area has been forgotten for too many years except as a dump for rubbish and stolen cars. In the late 1980s, Marshall Vanderburg, who was working as advisor to District 3 councilor Ramona Martinez, initiated to change this. As a humble woman, Nettie would never appreciate her role in the years to come. Nettie and the Greater Avondale Heights Improvement Association, Sloan’s Lake Citizens’ Group, and the Villa Park Neighborhood Association came up with a master plan to transform the canyon image into a large urban park. I still remember the bitterly cold night that was accentuated by ice and snow in January 1989. Nettie and I traveled to a neighborhood meeting to present the canyon master plan to Mayor Federico Pena.
Their acceptance was a wonderful example of neighborhood democracy and bottom-up change. Gradually, money was made available to transform the gorge into Lakewood Gulch Park. Over the years the Regional Transportation District (RTD) built a light rail system for the Denver area. The system envisioned a western railway line, and the neighborhood groups fought to get it through Lakewood Gulch Park. But Nettie was the neighborhood leader who worked with RTD to do the job for the west corridor line. In addition to public transportation, the park offers amenities and improvements for rainwater drainage, bike paths, landscaping, nature areas, a disc golf course, community garden and the Nettie Moore playground.
Nettie’s legacy is beyond the pride she felt in a playground built right across from her home on the 1200 block of Utica Street. The next step to reflect the appreciation and gratitude for Nettie’s life and accomplishments is to rename Lakewood Gulch Park from Sheridan Boulevard to Perry Street in Nettie Moore Park. The Villa Park Neighborhood Association and Sloan’s Lake Citizens’ Group are parts of you and your legacy and the people and neighbors who lead change. Grassroots citizens are leaders in developing healthy communities, and their neighborhood groups are the mechanisms to create and protect population health for individuals, their families, and the entire city of Denver.
We will miss your physical presence at our Nettie meetings, but your life and spirit live forever.
When 9NEWS met Moore in 2017, she reminded us that she often referred to the city she loved as “God’s County”.
“Denver itself – I love it and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” she said.
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